Bury Local Election 2023: Labour gain two seats and strengthen their majority

Labour tightened its stronghold in Bury at today’s council elections – following a 34% turnout, two wards across the 17 in the borough gained Labour councillors – taking the total to 11.

During the election at the Castle Leisure Centre, Holyrood’s defending councillor Steven Wright for the Liberal Democrat party lost his seat by 250 votes to Labour’s Lynn Ryder who gained 1696 votes.

Also, for the first time ever, Pilkington Park gained their second Labour councillor Michael Rubinstein after he knocked out Nick Jones, former Conservative Leader in Bury, by 380 votes.

When asked how he was feeling about the results, coun Rubinstein, said: “I am delighted. It sends a message to Westminster and to the conservatives that they’ve played fast and loose with the people in this country for far too long.

“They have spun it over and over again that Labour don’t get it right, but every time we have left government we have left it better than we found it.”

Following the results of today’s election, of the 17 seats up for grabs, Labour claimed 11, Conservative claimed four and Radcliffe First claimed two.

There were many seats that were re-claimed by existing parties and councillors.

Charlotte Morris, Labour Councillor for Elton, was re-elected in her ward and considered it a “privilege”.

She went on to say: “I get another four years to hopefully continue what I think is the good work I have been doing.

“Thanks most of all to the people of Elton who have put their trust in me again.”

Seventy-two candidates were standing for this year’s election across the 17 wards in Bury – where one seat from each ward was up for grabs.

Of the seats up for grabs, Labour held nine of the 17 wards. It increased that total to 11, taking one seat from the Liberal Democrats (Holyrood) and another from the Conservatives (Pilkington Park).

There was no change of party in the other six wards: Bury West (Conservative hold), North Manor (Conservative Hold), Radcliffe East (Radcliffe First hold), Radcliffe North & Ainsworth (Conservative hold), Radcliffe West (Radcliffe First hold) and Tottington (Conservative hold). 

It changed the overall complexion of the council – including the councillor seats  Labour had a majority across Bury and were hoping to make it stronger following today’s results.

Labour Council Leader Eamonn O’Brien, said: “I think what we have proven with some of the seats we won last time that have rarely had Labour councillors is there is real value to having good, hardworking, caring Labour councillors.

“They do the case work, they campaign all year round, they really focus on the issues that matter to people.”

Mr. O’Brien went on to highlight the importance of building better relationships with residents in areas like Radcliffe, where there has been noticeable neglect from the council over recent years.

He said: “Our big focus of the council is to regenerate [Radcliffe]… and trying to recover a place that has really suffered over generations, in fact, of deindustrialisation from losing key assets in the community.”

Following today’s results, Labour now hold 31 seats in the Bury council, where the Conservatives now only hold 11.

The results from today’s elections in Bury are similar to those in other boroughs across Greater Manchester.

Of Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs, all excluding Bolton and Stockport are held by Labour.

After surpassing the Conservatives – following their loss of 1,038 seats – Labour are now the largest party in local government for the first time since 2002.

Many people suspect this is a reflection of what the results of next year’s general election might be.

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