Conservatives increase majority in Brentwood elections

Voters in Brentwood gave the Conservative Party a slightly increased majority yesterday in an election in which only one seat changed hands - but saw a number of close-run battles for residents’ votes.

In the only gain of the night, Conservative William Russell took the Brentwood West ward from Liberal Democrat Karen Chilvers by just 10 votes.

The Lib-Dems won in Brentwood North and Pilgrims Hatch, while Labour’s sole councillor Mike Le-Surf was re-elected in Brentwood South with an increased, but still slim, majority of 124.

Conservative leader Cllr Louise McKinlay said: “Obviously I’m very happy. We have a strong record, like delivering our zero per cent council tax (increase), not for the first time.

“We went out there with a clear, full and quite radical manifesto, and what we’ve shown is that you can make savings and still protect frontline services like weekly waste collection.”

For the Liberal Democrats, who had a disastrous night at the polls nationally, the result in Brentwood were better than in many other places.

LibDem leader Cllr David Kendall said: “It could have been better. Overall we’re pleased that we held two of the three seats we were defending in very difficult circumstances. But we are disappointed to lose Karen Chilvers, she’s been an excellent ward councillor. To lose her is a bitter blow.

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“There’s a lot of issues in Brentwood and we’ll make sure we continue to hold the Conservatives to account.”

Labour’s sole representative Cllr Mike Le-Surf said: “I’m delighted to have held my council seat and must thank the residents of Brentwood South for re-electing me so convincingly.

“Labour beat five Lib Dem candidates on the night and we hope to be the main party of opposition in Brentwood by the next general election.”

The composition of the council is now: Conservative 28, Liberal Democrat 7, Labour 1, Independent 1.