LABOUR have strengthened their position on North Tyneside Council after taking six seats at the local elections.
The party snatched five off the Conservative Party and took one from the Liberal Democrats.
It is the second year in a row that the Tories have lost five or more seats on the council.
The result now means that Conservative mayor Linda Arkley will have to rely on the support of one or both opposition parties to have any future budgets approved.
Following the results earlier today, the council is now made up of 35 Labour councillors, 19 Conservative and six Lib Dems.
Mrs Arkley needs 20 councillors plus herself under the mayoral-system to have her budget passed.
Labour took seats off the Tories in Killingworth, Monkseaton South, Whitley Bay, Benton and Collingwood while claimed Wallsend from the Lib Dems.
After the election result, Mrs Arkley was confident of still getting her budget passed, highlighting all the good in the borough.
She said: “Labour have had the trade union support and they’ve run a high profile campaign, which we could never match.
“I was elected on the priorities that I’ve set out and taken forward, such as the regeneration of Whitley Bay, Wallsend and North Shields.
“I’ve kept the council tax down. I feel the council has given really good value for money with frontline services.
“But its disappointing how some mis-information has been distributed by the Labour Party.”
Mrs Arkley added: “Nationally, this has been some feedback for the government that the people are not happy.”
An elated Coun Jim Allan, Labour group leader, said he believed the results showed that the party was on its way back in the borough.
“For two years I’ve tried to work on positive news for the benefit of the people of North Tyneside,” he said.
“We need the council to be competitive, we have to work together to do that.
“The result today is as good as winning a council.
“Labour is now the biggest party on the council and would be in control if it wasn’t for the mayoral system.”
Lib Dem leader Nigel Huscroft, who lost his seat in Wallsend after 24 years, blamed national party leader Nick Clegg for his defeat.
He said: “The bottom line is Nick Clegg did to me what the Labour Party couldn’t for 24 years. I hope he’s feeling very pleased with himself.”
Lesley Spillard (Labour Party) 1,962
Dorothy Bradley (Liberal Democrat) 1,133
Janet Hunter (Labour ) 2,060
John Goodfellow (Conservative) 1,613
Bob Watson (Liberal Democrat) 149
Ray Glindon (Labour) 1,946
Ray Taylor (Conservative) 621
David Ekin Corkey (Labour) 1,841
Sue Rodgerson (Conservative) 579
Martin Gibson Rankin (Labour) 2,106
Paul Bunyan (Conservative) 1,356
Norma Playle (Liberal Democrat) 146
George Crighton Westwater (Conservative) 1,995
Ron Bales (Labour) 1,838
John Harrison (Labour) 1,884
Paul James Moat (Liberal Democrat) 437
Roger Nigel Batten (National Front) 295
Alison Waggott-Fairley (Labour) 1,872
Nigel Donald Clotheir ( Conservative Party) 1,259
Thomas Barton (Liberal Democrat) 169
Kevin Conroy (Labour) 2,029
Robin Arthur Underwood (Conservative) 544
Mark Raymond Nicholls (National Front) 208
Paul Mason (Conservative) 1,943
Glenn Martin Stillaway (Labour) 1,201
David Nisbet (Liberal Democrat) 296
Bill Caithness (Labour) 1,863
Ken Mewett (Conservative) 1,580
Charles Edward Michael Hall (Liberal Democrat) 280
David Ord (Liberal Democrat) 1,485
Malcolm Redhead (Labour) 1,100
David Alan Sarin (Conservative) 1,654
Catherine Blyth (Labour Party) 1,465
Wil Taylor (Liberal Democrat) 153
Norma Redfearn (Labour) 1,775
Matt Galley (Conservative) 442
Andy Hudson (Liberal Democrat) 249
Ed Hodson (Conservative) 2,820
Simon Douglas Philpott (Labour) 784
Julia Anne Erskine (Green) 206
Michael Day (Liberal Democrat) 214
Jean Frances McLaughlin (Conservative) 2,029
Jeffrey Maughan (Labour) 1,787
Clare Barton (Liberal Democrat) 248
Carole Ann Gambling (Labour) 2,064
Leon Edward Rodda (Conservative) 661
Jules Rutherford (Labour) 1,532
Nigel John Huscroft (Liberal Democrat) 1,061
Alan Edward Mattinson (Independent) 187
Martin Collins (Green) 143
Muriel Green (Labour) 2,196
Andrew Charles Elliott (Conservative) 1,498
John O’Shea (Labour Party) 1,512
Alison Austin (Conservative) 1,441
John Christopher Appleby (Liberal Democrat) 179
Dorothy Brooke (British National Party) 96