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Mansfield: Labour secure large majority and overall control

The Labour Party has secured overall control of Mansfield District Council after gaining a significant majority on the council.

The group, led by Andy Abrahams, reached 25 councillors out of a possible 39 and also secured a significant victory in the mayoral poll.

It means the group holds 26 seats in the chamber – including the mayoral role, which Mr Abrahams secured with 9,987 votes.

Councillor Andre Camilleri, of the Conservatives, in second during the mayoral count but successfully gained election onto the council in Berry Hill.

Councillor Andre Camilleri who finished second in the mayoral contest
Councillor Andre Camilleri, who finished second in the mayoral contest

Cllr Mick Barton (Mans Ind) finished third in the mayoral poll and saw his Mansfield Independents slump from 13 to three councillors in the chamber.

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But the Conservatives recorded a record five seats at the Civic Centre and will now be the official opposition on the authority for the first ever time.

Speaking after the election victory, re-elected mayor Andy Abrahams said: “I’m absolutely exuberant and I am surprised because I never thought I’d we could convert the work in the community into this number of seats.

“I’m over the moon.”

The former controlling Mansfield Independents – which lost the mayoral election by two votes in 2019 – struggled to retain the 13 seats it won in 2019 and lost many local counts to Labour.

Andy Abrahams Labour mayor of Mansfield pictured at the election count
Andy Abrahams, Labour mayor of Mansfield pictured at the election count

It allowed the Labour Group to capitalise and take overall control of the council after a significant drop off in Mansfield Independent vote share.

Speaking on his party’s slump in the vote, former deputy mayor Cllr Barton – who was re-elected in the Maun Valley ward, said: “The vote has dropped off but I think one of the reasons is a lot of promises by the other groups to get rid of the mayor.

“[My priority] will be to hold the mayor to account and try to get him to a lot of the manifesto pledges I made and try to get some of them in.

“We want to serve the residents, that’s what we’re all about and there’s no politics.”

Among the Tory victories was Cllr Nigel Moxon, who unseated existing Mansfield Independent Cllr Bill Drewett following a recount to take control of the Ling Forest ward.

Cllr Sinead Anderson (Con), the wife of Conservative Party deputy chairman and Ashfield MP Lee Anderson, also retained a seat on the authority in Thompsons.

And Cllr Ben Brown secured a victory in the town’s new West Bank ward.

But Cllr Liz Langrick (Con) was the successful Tory candidate that saw the Conservatives surpass their two-seat tally from 2019.

Speaking after her victory, she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I can’t believe it but we have worked really hard as a team. We’ve not all been successful but it’s been a team effort.

“It’s fantastic, we’ve increased on what we had before and for us it’s massive. As Conservatives, Mansfield was always going to be an uphill battle with the national picture so it’s great to see we made some in-roads.”

Longstanding independents Cllr June Stendall and Cllr Steve Garner both also retained their seats amid a fight from the other political groups.

It means the final results in the chamber are 25 Labour councillors (plus the Labour mayor), five Conservatives, four Mansfield Independents and two unaligned independents.

Turnout for the election was 27 per cent, which was a drop from the 29.76 per cent turnout in 2019.

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