Wednesday 28 February 2024
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Nottingham

Nottingham: Conservative group a victim of ‘national trend’ as it fails to secure any seats

The chairman of Nottingham’s Conservative group says it has been a victim of a “national trend” after failing to occupy any seats on Nottingham City Council for the first time in history.

Labour claimed victory after hours of counting on May 5, and the group will now retain overall control of the council.

Nottingham Labour will now occupy 51 seats on the council, compared to 50 in 2019.

Paul Ruane, who stood for Bulwell Forest but failed to get elected, is the chairman of the Nottingham Conservative Group.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service he said: “I am naturally disappointed with the results, but obviously there has been a national trend going on here, the Conservatives and the party has not had a particularly great night all round.

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“Unfortunately it looks like we’ve been pulled down the same route as the Conservative Party has gone down nationally.

“The Conservative Party has a remarkable amount of resilience, there have been times in the past where we have been wiped off councils before and come back and ended up taking control.”

The Nottingham Conservative Group was thrown into further disarray in the run up to the election on May 4, amid the departure of councillors Roger Steel and former group leader Andrew Rule.

The pair had left the group to stand as independents in Clifton West.

Only councillor Rule was re-elected, with Labour’s Hayley Spain coming in ahead of Mr Steel in the polls.

“It is a huge disappointment not to have carried Roger over the line with me,” Cllr Rule said of the result.

“But I am hugely humbled and privileged to have done this without a party machine behind me.”

Cllr Rule added he would now seek to work with Cllr Spain and leave his former Conservative Group to a period of “reflection”.

The Nottingham Independents, which first began work to form an effective opposition on the council back in 2019, once again managed to get its three candidates in Clifton East re-elected.

However it failed to increase its numbers despite fielding 26 candidates.

Kevin Clarke, the leader of the opposition group, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It was a bit disappointing but having said that we’ve gone from a standing-start.

“Despite that, in places like Sherwood, we still received 1,100 votes. It is a tremendous platform going forward.

“We’ve got some good people on board now and we need to get our acts together to form an opposition.”

Labour Group and council leader Cllr David Mellen was also re-elected to his Dales ward.

He said: “There are no Conservatives on the council for the first time ever.

“The people have Nottingham have spoken they have put their confidence in Nottingham Labour despite the challenges we’ve had over the last couple of years.”

The Liberal Democrats, despite persistent campaigning in the Castle ward, failed to secure any seats, as was the case with the Green Party, in spite of a positive showing in Berridge.

•  Live updates: Nottinghamshire Local Election Results as they happen

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