Labour paints Sefton red as they take eight seats in historic el

New Sefton Labour Councillors

Labour painted the borough red at this week's local elections taking eight seats to take overall control of Sefton Council for the first time ever.

Every ward in the Sefton Central constituency was claimed by Labour during the historic count on Thursday evening.

The party stole a march on the Lib Dems and Tories in the borough taking not just seats which had never previously been Labour, but also claiming some high profile scalps in the process - including the Tory leader's seat in Blundellsands.

Labour's Veronica Bennett took the seat from the borough's Conservative leader with a 53% share of the vote, a 669 vote majority. The Tories in Blundellsands came second with just 36%, while the Lib Dems came a dismal fifth behind UKIP and the Greens with just 87 votes.

Meanwhile in Ravenmeols, Labour's Peter Maguire claimed the second high command Tory scalp when he romped to victory with 54% of the vote, a 903 vote majority.

In Park Ward, Labour's Steve Kermode polled 53% of the vote to take the seat, which has never before been Labour, from the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 882, 53% of the vote.

Labour's Lynn Gatherer took Sudell Ward from the Liberal Democrats with a huge majority of 1,304, a 59% share of the vote.

Manor Ward was taken from the Lib Dems by Labour's John Kelly with a 59% share of the vote and a majority of 1,159. The Lib Dems came a poor fourth with just 235 votes.

And in Molyneux Ward, Paula Murphy took the seat from the Lib Dems with a 1,229 majority and 59% share of the vote.

But the biggest surprise of the evening came when former "Tory stronghold" Harington Ward fell to Labour's Nina Killen who crept ahead of her Tory and UKIP rivals to claim victory with an eight vote majority.

Blundellsands Ward's Cllr Veronica Bennett said: "The Blundellsands and Crosby Labour Action Team and I campaigned hard to take this seat, not just during the election period but for well over a year when we were working on issues that affected residents in the ward.

"I am honoured to have been chosen to represent the community in which I have been brought up and still live and I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the whole community gets the representation it deserves."

Ravenmeols Ward's Cllr Peter Maguire said: "This is a great victory not just for the Labour Party, but for the people of Formby and Ince Blundell. I will work closely alongside my Labour colleagues and in particular my fellow ward Labour Councillor Catie Page to ensure that we get the very best for our community.

"I'd like to thank the people of Formby and Ince Blundell for putting their faith in me and the Labour Party."

Park Ward's Cllr Steve Kermode said: "Maghull and Lydiate is a community which I have lived in since I was a baby. I have brought up my own family here and set up my business here. I want to see this community thrive. That is precisely what I will work to ensure happens.

"I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me and I will work tirelessly to get the best for them and our whole community."

Sudell Ward's Cllr Lynn Gatherer said: "This is a great win for Labour in Maghull and builds on the success we had in Sudell last year when my Labour colleague Cllr Patrick McKinley was elected.

"Working together, we have already achieved a lot in Maghull, including campaigning to save the greenbelt and greenspaces here. We have much more work to do, particularly during these difficult times, but the Maghull Labour Action Team and I will do our utmost to ensure that the people of Maghull are given the representation that they need."

Manor Ward's Cllr John Kelly said: "This is a clean sweep now for Labour in Manor Ward when just three years ago we had no Labour councillors here.

"Since we have seen my fellow ward Labour colleagues, Cllrs Steve McGinnity and Diane Roberts elected, we are now seeing improvements being made in the ward. I will continue to work with them to ensure that these improvements are made and people here are given the help they need when they need it.

"During the campaigning i was struck by the concerns of voters. The behaviour of the government and the impact it was having on their lives. We must work hard to reduce the impact of the Tory-Lib Dem government's treatment of the people in Manor Ward, particularly those who are most vulnerable."

Molyneux Ward's Cllr Paula Murphy said: "I would like to thank everyone in Aintree, Melling and Maghull who voted for me.

"This is another decisive victory for Labour in Molyneux Ward after our success over the previous two consecutive years. People here know that Labour is fighting hard for them and working hard to ensure that we get the best for our communities."

Harington Ward's Cllr Nina Killen said: "While this is the first time that Labour has won a seat in Harington Ward, this victory shows that there is a real alternative to the failed policies of the Tories in Formby.

"I live in this community and I am bringing my family up here. People here will now see what a Labour councillor in Harington will do for this ward and I will work alongside my Labour colleagues here in Formby to get the very best for our community."

Victoria Ward's Cllr Mick Roche said: "Working with my fellow Labour ward councillor Les Byrom, I am particularly keen to do what I can to see jobs created in Crosby and Waterloo, and to support local traders here.

"I also have a number of environment projects in the planning stage which we would like to introduce into Victoria Ward.

"I would like to thank everyone who voted for me."

Sefton Labour Group leader and Sefton Council leader, Cllr Peter Dowd said this year's council election results were "historic".

Peter said: "This is indeed a historic victory for Labour across Sefton. Not only did we take all seven seats within Sefton Central, but we also took Victoria ward from the Liberal Democrats.

"These results prove categorically that the people of Sefton are fed up with the Lib Dems and the Tories both locally and nationally.

"Labour in Sefton has proven that it can make the decisions which are needed to cope with the Tory-Lib Dem government's hatchet job to our budget where we have had to make savings in excess of £85m. Instead of the slash and burn policies of the Lib Dems and Tories, we have consulted with residents and managed the cuts while safeguarding vital local services.

"I'd like to thank the people of Sefton for voting Labour and congratulate all of my Labour colleagues who fought this campaign by showing the electorate just what Labour has to offer."

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he was delighted that Labour had a clean sweep in wards throughout his constituency.

Bill said: "It was only a couple of years back that there were no Labour councillors in Sefton Central.

"Now we have 13 and not only that, we won all seven ward contests against the coalition parties of the Tories and Lib Dems in one night.

"This is a huge victory for Labour and a huge victory for the people of this borough who will now have a Labour Party in full control.

"People are fed up with the Tories and Lib Dems nationally and they are fed up with them locally. these results prove that."

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