Labour increases North Tyneside majority
Labour increased its majority in North Tyneside thanks to three narrow wins in a largely straightforward election night for the party.
They took Monkseaton North and Cullercoats from the Conservatives and Northumberland ward from the Liberal Democrats.
The only bump in the road for Labour was losing Monkseaton South to the Tories by 62 votes – and cabinet member Ian Grayson in the process.
Labour’s elected mayor, Norma Redfearn, said: “I’m sad to have lost a colleague but overall I’m pleased to see the people of North Tyneside have put their faith in us.
“Nationally it has been a frustrating night for us and I worry people don’t always know what we stand for, we need to be clearer.”
Conservative leader Judith Wallace said: “I would like to pay tribute to the two colleagues we’ve lost today and welcome a knee strong voice to team.
“We are fighters in North Tyneside and we’ll keep going.
“Nationally what tonight has shown is that people know they are better off with a Conservative council and we will work to make sure the people of North Tyneside can have that.”
This race also saw anti-Brexit party Renew on the ballot paper in two wards.
The party picked North Tyneside as one of its first battlegrounds, fielding candidates in Monkseaton South and Tynemouth.
Tynemouth candidate Tom Bailey, who came fourth with 142 votes but beat the Lib Dems, Greens and UKIP, said: “We’re happy to have been through this process and got our name out there and I think we have a real future here.”
The Lib Dems had hoped for success in Wallsend, but found no such joy. Party chair John Appleby said he was confident the party still had a future in the area.
The make-up of the council is now: Labour 53 (+2), Conservative 6 (-1), Lib Dem 1 (-1).
Battle Hill: Steven Phillips, Labour, 69.2% of vote. Benton: Peter Earley, Labour, 65.3%. Camperdown: Janice Mole, Labour, 73.6%. Chirton: Margaret Reynolds, Labour, 75.3%. Collingwood: Steve Cox, Labour, 59.3%. Cullercoats: Willie Samuel, Labour, 46.2%. Howdon: Maureen Madden, Labour, 72.7%. Killingworth: Linda Darke, Labour, 63.4%. Longbenton: Joan Walker, Labour, 73.6%. Monkseaton North: Joe Kirwin, Labour, 47.1%. Monkseaton South: Sean Brockbank, Conservative, 46.4%. Northumberland, Trish Brady, Labour, 45.2%. Preston, Kate Osborne, Labour, 50.1%. Riverside: Bruce Pickard, Labour, 65.6%. St Mary’s: Pam McIntyre, Conservative, 59.3%. Tynemouth: Sarah Day, Labour, 42.6%. Valley:
Brian Burdis, Labour, 62.8%. Wallsend: Linda Bell, Labour, 58.7%. Weetslade: Joanne Cassidy, Labour, 62.1%. Whitley Bay: Margaret Hall, Labour, 59.2%.
Daniel Holland, Local Democracy Reporting Service