Bury Council Elections 2012 round-up: Labour romp to resounding victory

By James McLaughlin, Sion Britton & Kirsty Plowman

Labour took Bury by storm in last night’s local elections, gaining ten seats to secure a resounding win in the contested wards.

Notable victories were had in Elton and Tottington where Mayor of Bury, Conservative Yvonne Creswell, and Conservative leader Roger Brown lost out respectively.

In Elton, Labour’s Susan Southworth gained the seat with 1,323 votes and in Tottington Simon Carter, also Labour, secured 1,085 votes.

Labour leader Mike Connolly was jubilant saying: “We expected to win six seats. To win ten has been amazing. It’s beyond our wildest dreams.”

“We took out the Mayor. We took out the leader of the opposition,” Cllr Connolly added. “The people of Bury have put their trust in us and it’s a trust we will repay.”

In addition, Labour gained the seats of Holyrood, Radcliffe East, Radcliffe North, Redvales, Ramsbottom and Unsworth from the Conservatives.

They also secured the seats of Sedgley and St Mary’s previously held by the Liberal Democrats while holding seats in Besses, Moorside, Radcliffe West and the vacant East ward.

Cllr Connolly was joined in his celebratory mood by MP for Bury South, Ivan Lewis, who heralded the resounding victory.

Lewis said: “The people of Bury have sent two clear messages. One to the heart of Downing Street that they feel the government are out of touch and incompetent.

“The second is that Labour are doing a good quality job here. The Labour party is united and focussed.”

Going into the election, Bury’s Conservative leader was despondent of his party’s chances, predicting that it would be Labour celebrating when the wards were declared.

Asked about his party’s chances in Bury, Roger Brown said: “I have no hopes. I’ve got fears quite frankly.”

“It will definitely go towards Labour,” Mr Brown added. “I don’t expect to win in my ward of Tottington.”

It was a dismal affair all around for the Lib Dems, with husband and wife Vic and Mary D’Albert both failing to be re-elected in their respective wards of Holyrood and St Mary’s.

When the results were announced Mr D’Albert said: “I accept the view of the people and have given my congratulations to my successor.”

“I hope Labour continue to represent the needs and concerns of the Bury people,” Mr D’Albert added. “I will spend more time with my family, but politically it is too soon to think about anything.”

Another party pleased with their showing were UKIP who were expected to do well nationally and also tipped to pick up votes by Mr Brown.

Pete Entwistle, candidate for Bury East ward, said: “We’re not surprised by the result. The Conservatives cared little for the borough when they were in power. We’re happy we’ve increased our vote.”

Voter turnout continued to fall in Bury with 33.3% of voters hitting the polls, down on 2011 when 40% of Bury’s electorate cast their votes.

First to declare was the ward of Unsworth where Labour’s David Jones gained the seat from Conservative Sam Cohen with 1,687 votes.

Ramsbottom was the final ward to declare, but without last year’s drama in which Labour’s Joanne Columbine won the seat by drawing lots after tying on 1,822 vote with Conservative Robert Hodkinson.

The end result gives Labour a majority in the council with 36 seats to the Conservatives 12, the Liberal Democrats two and one independent.

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