Redditch Borough Council election, 2002

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The 2002 Redditch Borough Council election of 2 May 2002 elected members of Redditch Borough Council in the West Midlands region, England. One third of the council stood for re-election and the Labour party lost overall control of the council to no overall control for the first time in many years.[1]

After the election, the council comprised

Campaign[edit]

Before the election only a small swing would have seen the Labour party lose its majority on Redditch council,[3] with the opposition Conservatives and Liberal Democrats only needing to pick up three seats between them for this to happen.[4] The Labour party was defending seven of the eleven seats to be decided and campaigned on its success over the previous years in eliminating all council debt.[4] There was an extra seat in West ward where the Conservative leader on the council, Carol Grandy, stood down.[4]

Election results[edit]

Labour lost its majority but remained the largest party.[5] Labour had held control of the council for the previous 20 years but lost this after the other parties gained three seats in the election.[6] Among Labour losses was its leader on the council, Albert Wharrad, who lost in Winyates ward to the Liberal Democrats.[6] One of the closest results was in Lodge Park ward where Labour held on by 22 votes and Mohammed Nasir became the first Asian councillor on Redditch council.[7] The results meant no party had a majority on the council for the first time in over 50 years,[6] and the Conservative party claimed that the results would have been sufficient for them to have gained Redditch constituency in a general election.[8] Turnout in the election was higher than in the last few years at 29.8%.[9]

Following the election the Labour and Conservative parties on the council elected new leaders and attempted to gain Liberal Democrat support to control the council.[7] However the Liberal Democrats said that they would not form an agreement with either Labour or the Conservatives on their own.[10] In the end at the council's annual general meeting on 15 May all parties joined the executive of the council, which was formed with four Labour, three Conservative and one Liberal Democrat members.[11] The Conservatives had wanted an executive in which both they and Labour had the same number of seats and accused the Liberal Democrats of backing Labour to prevent this.[12] The new Labour leader, David Cartwright, was elected leader of the council and retained the chairman's casting vote.[11][13]

Redditch Local Election Result 2002
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 5 2 0 +2 45.5 42.6 7,645
  Labour 4 0 3 -3 36.4 33.0 5,925
  Liberal Democrat 2 1 0 +1 18.2 23.2 4,172
  Independent 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 207

Ward results[edit]

Abbey[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Diane Thomas 986 63.7
Labour Robin King 345 22.3
Conservative Gordon Hazelton 216 14.0
Majority 641 41.4
Turnout 1,547
Liberal Democrat hold Swing
Batchley[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Jack Cookson 793 52.0
Conservative Peter Anderson 523 34.3
Liberal Democrat Kathleen Cummings 208 13.6
Majority 270 17.7
Turnout 1,524
Labour hold Swing
Central[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Stephen Wheeler 806 47.1
Conservative Michael Braley 684 40.0
Liberal Democrat Adam Isherwood 222 13.0
Majority 122 7.1
Turnout 1,712
Labour hold Swing
Crabbs Cross[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sarah Sulley 791 50.5
Labour Les Smith 584 37.3
Liberal Democrat David Gee 192 12.3
Majority 207 13.2
Turnout 1,567
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
Feckenham[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Chalk 967 57.3
Labour Patricia Hill 449 26.6
Liberal Democrat Graham Pollard 273 16.2
Majority 518 30.7
Turnout 1,689
Conservative hold Swing
Greenlands[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Philip Mould 790 43.8
Conservative Tracey Smithers 767 42.6
Liberal Democrat Anthony Pitt 245 13.6
Majority 23 1.2
Turnout 1,802
Labour hold Swing
Lodge Park[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Mohammad Nasir 474 35.6
Conservative Janet Clark 452 33.9
Independent Simon Preston 207 15.5
Liberal Democrat Ian Webster 200 15.0
Majority 22 1.7
Turnout 1,333
Labour hold Swing
Matchborough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Anita Clayton 867 50.8
Labour Iris Beech 570 33.4
Liberal Democrat Christopher Hennessey 270 15.8
Majority 297 17.4
Turnout 1,707
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
West (2)[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Karen Lumley 1,182
Conservative Gavin Smithers 1,047
Labour John Witherspoon 536
Liberal Democrat Caroline Ashall 415
Liberal Democrat Michael Ashall 383
Turnout 3,563
Conservative hold Swing
Conservative hold Swing
Winyates[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat Cyril Springall 778 51.7
Labour Albert Wharrad 578 38.4
Conservative Gordon Craig 149 9.9
Majority 200 13.3
Turnout 1,505
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Redditch". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  2. ^ "Local Elections: Results : Redditch". The Guardian. 2002-05-03. p. 9. 
  3. ^ Ward, Lucy; Maguire, Kevin (2002-04-11). "Policy and politics: Blunkett declares war on 'vile racism' of BNP: Home secretary wants head-on challenge in local elections". The Guardian. p. 10. 
  4. ^ a b c "Labour control on a knife-edge ; Mail focus on the May 2 local council elections". Birmingham Mail. 2002-04-12. p. 8. 
  5. ^ Walker, David (2002-05-03). "Local Elections: Postal voting increases turnout by 28%: Ballots: Participation higher in BNP areas candidates". The Guardian. p. 9. 
  6. ^ a b c Smith, Sue (2002-05-03). "Local Election Results 2002: protest's healthy majority". Birmingham Mail. p. 17. 
  7. ^ a b Probert, Andy (2002-05-07). "Redditch on a knife-edge ; Power talks begin". Birmingham Mail. p. 11. 
  8. ^ Brogan, Benedict (2002-05-04). "Late wins in London lift the Tories". The Daily Telegraph. p. 6. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Labour ousted". Worcester News. 2002-05-03. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  10. ^ "Parties struggle for sway". Worcester News. 2002-05-15. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  11. ^ a b "Labour bid to retain power". Birmingham Mail. 2002-05-15. p. 5. 
  12. ^ "Labour keep hold". Worcester News. 2002-05-16. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  13. ^ Probert, Andy (2002-06-27). "Council in cash crisis". Birmingham Mail. p. 38.