THE CONSERVATIVES comfortably held control of Solihull Council last week despite facing tough opposition from the Green Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
Turn out across the borough was 33.86 per cent with Meriden recording the highest with 38.09 per cent and Kingshurst and Fordbridge the lowest at 23.68 per cent.
Conservative Annette MacKenzie took the group’s total of seats on the Council to 29 when she pipped Solihull Liberal Democrat leader Ian Hedley to the post by 383 votes in Shirley East.
The Green Party gained three seats to give them ten seats on the Council – which means they are the second largest group sitting on the Council.
The Green Party now hold all three seats in Chelmsley Wood and Smith’s Wood, and they also hold two of the three seats in the Shirley West ward.
However, UKIP made the highest profile gain with Debbie Evans taking the Kingshurst and Fordbridge seat by 309 votes from former Government minister and Solihull Labour leader David Jamieson.
Elmdon was a close call as UKIP’s David Faulkner was pipped to the post by Liberal Democrat Martin Hewings by just 21 votes.
This was UKIP’s first foray in Solihull since 2008 and nine candidates were put forward for the 17 seats up for re-election last week.
The biggest losers were Labour who lost four seats leaving them with just two representatives on the authority – Coun Alan Nash and Coun Flo Nash in Kingshurst and Fordbridge.
The full make up of the council is now Conservatives (29), Green (10), Lib Dem (8), Labour (2), Solihull Ratepayers and Residents Association (1), and UKIP (1).
The candidates elected in the 17 contested seats were:
* Bickenhill: Alison Rolf, Conservative
* Blythe: Richard Holt, Conservative
* Castle Bromwich: Mike Robinson, Conservative
* Chelmsley Wood: James Burn, Green
* Dorridge and Hockley Heath: Ian Courts, Conservative
* Elmdon: Martin Hewings, Liberal Democrat
* Kingshurst and Fordbridge: Debbie Evans, UKIP
* Knowle: Diana Holl-Allen, Conservative
* Lyndon: Tony Ludlow, Liberal Democrat
* Meriden: Ken Allsopp, Conservative
* Olton: John Windmill, Liberal Democrat
* Shirley East: Annette Mackenzie, Conservative
* Shirley South: Andy Hodgson, Green
* Shirley West: Tim Hodgson, Green
* Silhill: Margaret Bassett, Conservative
* Smith’s Wood: Stephen Holt, Green
* St Alphege: Stuart Davis, Conservative