After weeks of campaigning, the results of the Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council elections were announced between 5-7pm on 7 May.
Gaining six seats, the Conservative Party held their majority in the Warwickshire County Council elections following Labour Party losses. The Conservatives now hold 42 seats out of 57 seats in Warwickshire.
Also in Warwickshire, the Liberal Democrats lost three seats, bringing their total number of councillors down to five out of 57.
In Coventry City Council, Labour retained their majority despite Conservative gains within the council and across the country as a whole. The Conservatives gained a new councillor in Sherbourne Ward, which was previously held by Labour.
Ryan Simpson, a 21-year-old Warwick University student, was elected to the Sherbourne seat and is now the youngest Coventry City Councillor. He won the election with 42% of the vote against his Labour opponent Amanda Eccles, who had accumulated 40% of the vote. There was 99 votes difference between the two.
Speaking to the Coventry Telegraph, he said: “It is a privilege to serve as a councillor and a studying student in Coventry.
“We have a large student population in Coventry, and I think it’ll be a real asset to have a student involved in the decision making process in the city.”
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Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has significantly been taken over by the Conservative Party, after being held by Labour for 46 out of the last 48 years.
Labour faced further losses in Warwickshire, where they lost both their leader and deputy leader, Helen Adkins (Leamington Wiles) and Dave Parsons (Polesworth).
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Speaking to The Boar, Charlotte Earl, Chair of University of Warwick Conservative Association, expressed her excitement about the results. She said: “The University of Warwick Conservative Association are absolutely delighted by these local election results.
“We pride ourselves on being an incredibly active campaigning society, and have supported candidates throughout the West Midlands in the lead-up to the election. We’re particularly pleased about the results in the Sherbourne ward of Coventry City Council where our former Deputy Chairman Ryan Simpson has gained a seat from Labour.
“In Nuneaton and Bedworth, where many of our members were campaigning on polling day, we’re delighted that the Conservatives have gained control of the Borough Council and have gained County Council seats.
“At the end of the day, Conservative-run councils deliver better services, are safer, and keep council tax low. Three of our current members, including myself, were also afforded the privilege to stand for County Council seats in Leamington Spa.
We pride ourselves on being an incredibly active campaigning society, and have supported candidates throughout the West Midlands in the lead-up to the election
– Charlotte Earl, Chair of Warwick Conservative Association
“I’m proud of the campaigns we ran and on a personal note, I’d like to thank any students that voted for me in the Leamington Clarendon division.”
The Boar also reached out to other University of Warwick political societies, including Warwick Green Party Society, Warwick Labour, and Warwick Liberal Democrats.
Sophie Kitching, President of Warwick Liberal Democrats said: “It’s still early days, but from costing the Conservatives their control of Cambridgeshire County Council to becoming the largest party in Stockport, we’ve been happy to see some great wins around the country so far.
“We’re really proud to have had many amazing young candidates running great campaigns for their local communities, including some of our own members. It’s also been great to be back out on the doorsteps and phones, engaging with local people on issues that matter.”
“We are pleased that the Liberal Democrats are establishing firm foundations as a fairer, greener and more caring alternative. In Earlsdon, we achieved a 25% increase in vote share to our highest ever level, and we even managed to stand a full slate of candidates in Coventry for the first time since 2004, offering voters a real choice in every ward.
“In Warwickshire, we’re happy to have re-elected many of our hard-working councillors, with whom we have a strong relationship through the local party exec committee.
“Of course, we’ve also had some losses, and the national picture is perhaps not as bright as many of us may have hoped.
It’s still early days, but from costing the Conservatives their control of Cambridgeshire County Council to becoming the largest party in Stockport, we’ve been happy to see some great wins around the country so far
– Sophie Kitching, President of Warwick Liberal Democrats
“We are particularly disappointed to see Tory gains despite the government’s abysmal handling of the pandemic. Clearly, we need to be seen to be listening – the wider party needs to fully embrace truly radical policies to appeal to younger voters and make a real difference to people’s lives.
“Labour’s heavy losses show that the country is missing this clear, radical alternative to the status quo.
“We know our fantastic candidates will continue to champion the voices of students and young people in the local area, fighting on the issues that matter to us all year round. If there’s something you think we should be working on, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”
Warwick Green Party reflected on the gains made by the Green Party locally. President Edward Clinton and Communications and Welfare Officer Ella McIntosh commented:”We’ve been thrilled with the results of the local elections, with fantastic results for the Greens on both a local and national level.
“Our society members have been out leafletting and door knocking for several weeks, and on election day we had members involved throughout – up bright and early for leaflet delivery, standing on polling stations to welcome voters, and knocking on doors across Leamington.
“We were delighted to have contributed to the effort of getting Councillor Will Roberts elected for the first time in Leamington Willes, replacing Labour leader Helen Adkins and winning by over 600 votes, having lost by just 10 last time out. We are also very excited that Councillor Jonathan Chilvers was re-elected in Leamington Brunswick with double the votes of the 2nd candidate, and that Councillor Tracey Drew won Kenilworth Park Hill for the first time with a margin of over 800 votes, taking this seat from the Conservatives.
These gains are representative of the hard work Greens councillors have been putting in, supporting community groups, businesses and residents
– Edward Clinton and Ella MacIntosh, Warwick Green Party
“These gains are representative of the hard work Greens councillors have been putting in, supporting community groups, businesses and residents. Greens listen to the needs of local communities, and have an ambitious vision for a greener and fairer future. As the party makes gains nationwide, including here in Warwickshire, the impact that Greens in the room can have is becoming clear
“As a new society, we are pleased to have built such strong ties with the local Party so quickly, and we look forward to continuing to support their efforts and make sure that students concerns are heard at a local level.
“We would like to say a massive thank you to every student who went out and voted on Thursday!”
The Boar has contacted Warwick Labour for a comment