Election 2019: Labour seize control of High Peak Borough Council from the Conservatives

The newly-elected High Peak Labour councillors and their supporters celebrate after the count. Photo: Jason Chadwick.
The newly-elected High Peak Labour councillors and their supporters celebrate after the count. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

The Labour Party has won control of High Peak Borough Council - with party leader Anthony McKeown promising a 'more resident-focused council'.

Labour won a total of 22 seats on the 43-seat council giving them a majority of one seat and overall control - while the Conservatives lost seven seats which left them with 16 councillors.

Ruth George congratulates Madeline Hall on her surprise win in the Corbar Ward.

Ruth George congratulates Madeline Hall on her surprise win in the Corbar Ward.

As votes were counted today (Friday) at the Pavilion Gardens it looked as though there may be no clear majority, however Labour candidates Kath Thomson and Shannon-Kate Thomson finally tipped the scales in Labour's favour when they were both elected in the Whaley Bridge Ward during the final minutes.

READ MORE: High Peak local election count in pictures

Coun McKeown, who retained his seat in the Gamesley Ward, said: "With elections you hope and pray that you've put the right things together to win.

"Thanks to determination across the High Peak we've been able to turn our little bit of Derbyshire.

High Peak's first-ever Green Party councillors, Charlotte Farrell and Joanna Collins. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

High Peak's first-ever Green Party councillors, Charlotte Farrell and Joanna Collins. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

"We will work for your benefit - we want to make the council more resident-focused and respond to your needs better."

Remarkably the Green Party took their first-ever ward on the council as two candidates took seats in Hope Valley - while the Liberal Democrats gained a seat from the Conservatives which left them with three overall.

Green candidate Charlotte Farrell - who took 777 votes and beat Conservative Charles Lawley by 69 votes - said she was 'very pleased'.

She said: "It's really good that people are taking on-board issues around climate change.

Emily Thrane regains her Temple Ward seat. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

Emily Thrane regains her Temple Ward seat. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

"It's like it's finally hitting home to people and I think there's a real want for change in Hope Valley and the High Peak."

Charlotte said being the first High Peak Green councillor was a 'privilege'.

She said: "We've got a lot of work to do and we're going to get cracking."

As Liberal Democrat Edith Longden gained a seat in the Blackbrook Ward from the Conservatives, party leader David Lomax said he was 'delighted to see Edith back on the borough council'.

Ruth George MP with the two councillor Thomsons whose double win in Whaley Bridge gave Labour its majority. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

Ruth George MP with the two councillor Thomsons whose double win in Whaley Bridge gave Labour its majority. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

David, who also held onto his seat in the Whaley Bridge Ward, said: "She has worked incredibly hard for the local area.

"It's a long time since we've had a victory to celebrate in the High Peak - I'm absolutely delighted."

The Conservatives suffered another shock-loss today when Labour candidate Madeline Hall took a stronghold seat on Corbar Ward.

Ruth George MP, speaking about Madeline Hall's success, said she was 'absolutely delighted'.

She said: "Madeline has worked in the community for so long - particularly at Serpentine Community Farm.

"The fact that she has been elected shows people in Corbar Ward want community champions who are there to stand up for them."

Former mayor Jean Wharmby holds onto her Dinting seat. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

Former mayor Jean Wharmby holds onto her Dinting seat. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

Speaking during the early stages of the count, and after retaining his Buxton Central seat, Labour councillor Matt Stone said he hoped to 'turn High Peak red again' if 'results carry on going this way'.

Matt, who held onto his seat alongside Councillor Jean Todd, said: "We have a lot of hard decisions coming up to fight austerity.

"It was nice to uphold the vote with a turnout of 31 per cent - which seems to be higher than the national average."

After the final result came in, High Peak Conservative Parliamentary candidate Robert Largan said he was 'disappointed' the Conservatives had lost control but felt the results were 'encouraging' compared to the national and regional picture.

He said he would focus on 'holding High Peak Labour to account'.

The new-look High Peak Borough Council

Con: 16 (-7); Lab: 22 (+5); Lib Dem: 3 (+1); Green: 2 (+2); Ind: 0 (-1)

2019 election results by ward

Barms: Rachael Quinn - LAB HOLD

Blackbrook: Eve Burton - CON HOLD; Edith Longden - LIB DEM GAIN

Burbage: Samantha Flower CON HOLD

Buxton Central: Matt Stone LAB HOLD; Jean Todd LAB HOLD

Chapel East: Jim Perkins CON HOLD

Chapel West: Kath Sizeland - CON HOLD; Stewart Young - CON HOLD

Corbar: Tony Kemp CON HOLD; Madeline Hall LAB GAIN

Cote Heath: Linda Grooby CON HOLD; Keith Savage LAB GAIN

Dinting: Jean Wharmby CON HOLD

Gamesley: Anthony McKeown LAB HOLD

Hadfield North: Ed Kelly - LAB HOLD

Hadfield South: Bob McKeown - LAB HOLD; Edward Siddall - LAB HOLD

Hayfield: Eva Lawson CON HOLD

Hope Valley: Charlotte Farrell GREEN GAIN; Joanna Collins GREEN GAIN

Howard Town: Rachel Abbotts - LAB HOLD; Damien Greenhalgh - LAB HOLD

Limestone Peak: Peter Roberts CON HOLD

New Mills East: Ian Huddlestone LAB HOLD; Alan Barrow LAB HOLD

New Mills West: Ray Atkins - LIB DEM HOLD; Lance Dowson - LAB HOLD

Old Glossop: Paul Hardy CON HOLD; Jamie Douglas CON HOLD

Padfield: Ollie Cross - LAB HOLD

Sett: Tony Ashton CON HOLD

Simmondley: Stewart Gardner LAB GAIN; John Haken CON HOLD

St John's: George Wharmby CON HOLD

Stone Bench: David Kerr LAB HOLD; Fiona Sloman LAB HOLD

Temple: Emily Thrane CON HOLD

Tintwistle: Rob Baker LAB HOLD

Whitfield: Graham Oakley LAB HOLD

Whaley Bridge: David Lomax LIB DEM HOLD; Kath Thomson LAB GAIN; Shannon-Kate Thomson LAB GAIN