Stoke-on-Trent voters sent the Labour Party to a resounding victory in the Local Council Elections [Thursday].
Labour took 34 of a possible 44 seats which gives them a clear mandate for the next four years.
The British National Party lost all 5 of their council seats, a move which sees the City free from any far right representation.
The Liberal Democrats were also eradicated from the council chamber. Their leader Kieran Clarke among those who suffered the public backlash against Nick Clegg’s Party that was evidenced across the country.
The Conservatives & Independent Alliance group have been reduced from 8 to 2 in number. Leader Ross Irving and fellow councillor Mark Wright lost out to Independents Terry Follows and Peter Hayward in Trentham & Hanford.
Hazel Lyth and Joanne Powell-Beckett lost out in the new “Ëœsuper’ ward of Milton, Baddeley and Norton, a new Conservative Councillor will serve alongside Labour’s Andy Lilley and Duncan Walker.
Community Voice lost all of their councillors in the biggest shock of the night which no political commentator predicted. Leader Mick Salih, Peter Kent-Baguley & Mike Barnes and Ellie Walker were all casualties.
The election results are an apparent vote of confidence for the austerity measures imposed after the 8.1% cut in funding by the national coalition, Mohammed Pervez Labour Group Leader, is set to continue in the role of Council Leader.
Pervez is looking for a new Deputy Leader after Conservative Group Leader Ross Irving lost out. Paul Shotton and Sarah Hill the front runners after Deputy Group Leader Tom Reynolds ruled himself out last night.
The Labour Party are also claiming that they have defeated the BNP and chased them out of the City turning their last remaining strongholds, Abbey Hulton and Bentilee completely red.
The City Indpendents also took a bit of a bashing although their number could be as high as 6. They lost their Leader Brian Ward, Rita Dale, Barbara Beeston, John Davis and Mick Bell, but they gained Ann James and Glenys Ward.
Rumours are circulating that Paul Breeze and Lee Wanger could join forces with the CIG and that there is a possibility that the 2 Conservative councillors could also join up to make an opposition group of 10.
Nationally it was a disastrous night for the Liberal Democrats who have so far lost control of the 4 councils that they held and a staggering 296 councillors across the country. There are still 171 councils yet to declare.
It hasn’t been to bad an election so far for the Conservative Party who have gained 36 councillors and have taken control of 1 more council, but of corse this could all change today as more results are declared.
Meanwhile back in Stoke-on-Trent, a Labour majority had been predicted and the Pits n Pots poll seemed to confirm that view.
It was obvious from the early declarations that it was going to be a very good night for Pervez and his team.
All 3 Labour MPs were in attendance to offer support and congratulations to the victorious candidates. Rob Flello, Tristram Hunt & Joan Walley urged their council colleagues to remain grounded and prepared to work hard for the next four years.
Next year the Labour Group on Stoke-on-Trent City Council with their 24 seat majority will have to preside over another £20million of cuts in the next financial year and although lacking in opposition in the chamber, there will no shortage of political scrutiny from outside of the council chamber.
Today is a day that the successful candidates will celebrate and those that lost out will be left wondering where it all went wrong.
One thing is for sure, the council chamber will have a very different look to it at the next full council meeting.
Some big personalities will be missing in action. Some will bounce back and some will analyse their performance in the campaign to see if lessons can be learned for the future.
All Audio Interviews from the count last night are available to listen to and we will be adding new ones today.