Labour now largest group on town council following Tory collapse

Photo of councillors seated around tables at a meeting.
Archive image: Annual Meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council on 11th May 2022.

Members of the Labour Party now form the largest political group on Bradley Stoke Town Council following last week’s full elections which saw a number of high profile Conservatives lose their seats.

The 15-seat council now has seven Labour members (up six from 2019), six Conservatives (down six from 2019), one Liberal Democrat and one Green.

The result leaves the council with ‘no overall control’, but Labour has the option of forming a cross-party majority group with one or both of the minor parties.

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Despite the Conservatives putting up a full complement of 15 candidates and being arithmetically guaranteed to win five seats due to the other parties not fielding sufficient opponents in three of the five wards, they only managed to win one further seat above this baseline.

Among the Conservatives failing to win re-election were the current mayor Tony Griffiths (a councillor since 2011) and current deputy mayor Franklin Owusu-Antwi (a councillor since 2015). Griffiths finished last of six candidates in the three-seat Primrose Bridge ward while Owusu-Antwi finished fifth of six in the four-seat Woodlands ward.

Photo of Cllr Tony Griffiths wearing the mayoral chain of office.
OUT: Cllr Tony Griffiths (Conservative).

Curiously, despite failing to retain his town council seat, Owusu-Antwi successfully defended his seat on South Gloucestershire Council where he represents the Bradley Stoke North ward and has served as a Cabinet member for the last four years.

Another Conservative not to make the cut was Keith Cranney, who had served on the town council for the last 16 years.

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Independent candidate Andy Ward, a councillor since 2013, was a third former mayor who failed to secure re-election.

Although Labour only fielded seven candidates, all were successful and none were beaten by a Conservative in their respective wards.

The Green Party, although only fielding a single candidate, secured its first elected member on Bradley Stoke Town Council. Local student James Nelson, 18, topped the poll in the three-seat Primrose Bridge ward, finishing ahead of three Conservatives, one Labour and one Independent.

Photo.
IN: James Nelson (Green Party).

Jon Williams (Liberal Democrat) returns to the town council after an absence of twelve years through beating Keith Cranney into second place in the Stoke Brook ward.

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The turnout figures for the town council elections are not currently available but data published for the South Gloucestershire elections held on the same day in the Bradley Stoke North and South wards suggests it averaged around 32 percent.

For further details of the results, visit our 2023 Town Elections page.

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Labour comment

In a statement issued following the announcement of the election results, Dayley Lawrence, Bradley Stoke Labour group leader, said:

“We are delighted and honoured to have been elected to Bradley Stoke town Council. The result shows that the people of Bradley Stoke want a change. Over the last term our residents were let down by councillors not all of whom had their best interests at heart. We will work to be a united council that delivers for its community.”

Photo.
Dayley Lawrence, Bradley Stoke Labour group leader.

Having seven Labour councillors means that our work can begin at our earliest opportunity. We welcome the fist elected Green councillor James Nelson, who at 18 years old has show he has a passion for his community. We would also like to welcome back Jon Williams who people will know was on our town council for many years.”

“The Labour group of councillors hope to work with all councillors to make our residents proud of their community. We will communicate with our residents and involve them in our decision making where possible.”

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First meeting

The first meeting of the town council’s new term is the Annual Town Council Meeting on Wednesday 17th May 2023, when a new chair (mayor) will be chosen. This meeting will also agree the membership of the council’s committees, in accordance with a controversial political group proportionality rule introduced by the Conservative group during their most recent term in office.

All town council meetings are open to members of the public, who can have their say during a 15-minute ‘public questions’ session at the start of each meeting. Agenda and reports are published on the council’s website at least three clear days before each meeting.

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Turnout figures

UPDATE added 11th May 2023.

The turnout figures for the five town council wards have now become available. They are:

  • Primrose Bridge ward: 32.44 percent
  • Stoke Brook ward: 38.85 percent
  • Webbs Wood ward: 32.61 Percent
  • Willowbrook ward: 30.64 percent
  • Woodlands ward: 31.58 percent
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