Independent candidates were celebrating as the Conservative majority on Central Beds Council was cut by 10 when the election results were declared on Friday afternoon.
The make up of the council is now 41 Conservatives (-10), 13 Independents (+9), three Lib Dems (+2), 1 Labour(-1) and 1 UKIP (+1).
Notably, in Linslade Ward, anti-retail park and market rent campaigner Victoria Harvey (Ind) polled the most votes with 1,347.
Also elected were Gordon Perham (1,222) for the Conservatives, and Lib Dem Peter Snelling(1,139). Although two Tory candidates broke through the 1,000-vote mark, it was not enough for Steve Jones (1,076) and Tony Morris (1,013).
In Leighton Buzzard North it was a Conservative clean sweep as the trio of Ken Ferguson, Brian Spurr and Ewan Wallace – the latter the town council leader who lost his parish seat – all finished a few hundred votes ahead of their nearest challengers.
It was a similar scenario in Leighton Buzzard South where Conservatives Ray Berry, David Bowater and Amanda Dodwell retained their seats comfortably ahead of other candidates.
In Heath and Reach, Mark Versallion, comfortably held his seat for the Conservatives, while in Eaton Bray, Philip Spicer (Cons) beat nearest challenger Andrew Waters (Green).
In Aspley and Woburn, John Baker 1,686 (Ind), easily defeated experienced Conservative Budge Wells 371.
Central Bedfordshire Council’s Chief Executive and Returning Officer, Richard Carr, welcomed the new council. He said: “As well as congratulating our newly elected members, I would also like to thank the hundreds of polling and count staff who have supported these elections. Our elections team have done a fantastic job.”
Announcements about which councillors will take up different positions on the Council, including appointments to the Executive and the role of Council Chairman, will be made at the Annual Meeting, which will take place at Priory House on Thursday, 16 May, starting at 6.30pm.
Counting is also taking place today for town and parish councils in many areas across Central Bedfordshire. Of those, 67 were uncontested. The results of the town and parish elections will be posted on the council’s website as they become available.
For the full election results for Central Bedfordshire, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/cbcresults
For the full election results for town and Parish councils, see www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/tpresults