A good day for Labour

Northumberland County Council election count at Willowburn Sports Centre in Alnwick.
Northumberland County Council election count at Willowburn Sports Centre in Alnwick.

LABOUR has proved the big winner in county elections, but does not have overall control of the council.

The Party has claimed 32 of the 67 Northumberland seats available.

The Conservatives claimed 21, while the Liberal Democrats, who made up the former ruling minority administration, took just 11.

Three seats went to Independents.

In the former Castle Morpeth area the Conservatives enjoyed a clean sweep in the four Ponteland divisions, with Richard Dodd elected unopposed in Ponteland North.

The Party’s Northumberland group Leader Peter Jackson held his seat in Ponteland South with Heddon, as did Veronica Jones in Ponteland West and Eileen Armstrong in Ponteland East and Stannington.

The Liberal Democrats held onto two out of three Morpeth divisions — Kirkhill and Stobhill, but lost Morpeth North to Conservative David Bawn, with their candidate Ken Brown coming third behind Nic Best of the Green Party. In a closely fought contest there were just over 200 votes separating the winner from Labour’s Colin Taylor in fourth place.

Ian Lindley held the Stobhill seat and Andrew Tebbutt kept Morpeth Kirkhill.

The new Druridge Bay Division was won comfortably by Labour’s Scott Dickinson, while Conservative Glen Sanderson ran away with the redrawn Longhorsley Division, with a cushion of almost 850 votes.

Milburn Douglas, for Labour, retained the Lynemouth seat and Alan Sambrook took the Pegswood Division for the Party, ousting Liberal Democrat David Woodard.

Further afield, both Liberal Democrat group Leader Jeff Reid and Northumberland Labour Leader Grant Davey kept their seats in Plessey and Kitty Brewster respectively.

Labour took a number of Liberal Democrat scalps, including Arthur Pegg of Bedlington Central, Simon Reed for Bothal, Barrie Crowther of Cramlington Eastfield, Tom Brechany for Cramlington South East. Alan Armstrong of Cramlington Village, Anita Romer of Hartley, Bobby Nixon of Holywell, and Alan Thompson for Newbiggin Central and East.

Liberal Democrat Derek Kennedy lost his Hexham West seat to the Conservatives, but the Liberal Democrats did oust Independent Brian Douglas from Berwick North through candidate Gavin Jones.

Counts took place in Alnwick, Cramlington and Hexham.

They are continuing now for parish and town councils.