Labour regains majority in Cannock and Greens bag second seat after by-elections
Labour has regained its slim majority at Cannock Chase District Council while the Green Party has won its second seat on the authority following the results of two by-elections.
A seat in Hednesford Green Heath was up for grabs after Conservative Joanne Christian was booted off for failing to attend meetings and a seat in Hednesford South opened up following the sad passing of fellow Tory Graham Burnett earlier this year.
While Mr Burnett's Rawnsley seat on Staffordshire County Council also had to be voted on.
Labour's Linda Tait scooped Hednesford Green Heath with 359 votes, ahead of Conservative Bryan Jones with 301. Although there would be joy for Mr Jones on the night who narrowly scooped the county council Rawnsley division with 1,484 votes causing more heartache for Labour's George Admason who earned 1,454. The district council leader had narrowly missed out on a county seat earlier this year.
While the Green's Stuart Crabtree comfortably earned victory in the Hednesford South ward by earning 513 votes to Tory Philip Hewitt's 311.
Overall on the district council it means Labour has 21 of the council's 41 seats.
The political balance had been cast in to the balance in recent weeks after Councillor Maureen Freeman left Labour and went independent.
It left the party with a minority control of 20 seats although council leader George Adamson was bullish about the future running of the authority stating whatever the results Labour would likely have a 'working' majority after criticising opposing Tories for having an 'abysmal' attendance record at meetings.
The Green's were understandably jubilant after doubling their presence on the district council.
Councillor Crabtree said: "I really do want thank every one of my neighbours in Hednesford South for recognising the work we are doing together to make our community better for everyone who lives here and I am looking forward to the continued hard work ahead as the elected representative."
While fellow Green member Paul Woodhead, who himself earned a respectable 1,316 votes in the Rawnsley by-election said: "I am hugely excited by the progress we are making across the whole community and whilst it is disappointing to just miss out on this occasion I will continue to work hard both as a Councillor in Hednesford South on the District as well as for our whole community as it is clear the support is there for our approach to community activism and engagement.”
The Conservatives already had strong grip on Staffordshire County Council prior to the by-election.