West Northamptonshire Council Election 2021: Live from the count
Live coverage as counting begins for the historic first election for the West Northamptonshire Council
The Chron news team - reporting live from The Wing complex at Silverstone Circuit - will bring you all the latest news, results and reaction throughout the day and into the evening as counting gets under way on this historical day (May 7).
Polling stations across the county closed at 10pm last night and the election will see candidates across the 31 wards in Northampton, Daventry and South Northamptonshire come together to form the new West Northamptonshire Council unitary authority.
Follow all the action here live with the Chron. Keep refreshing for all the latest updates.
West Northamptonshire Council Election 2021: Live updates, results and reaction
Last updated: Friday, 07 May, 2021, 22:14
- The first elections for the new unitary authority
- Chronicle & Echo reporters are at the count throughout the day
Husband and wife team, Gareth and Terrie Eales, both won seats as Labour candidates for Dallington Spencer.
Gareth said: “It has been a long day and obviously we are delighted to be re-elected to represent the area of the town I grew up in. It’s a relief to get it out the way and the real work starts - working with people in the authority to make sure Northampton has a strong voice.”
And Terrie added: “It has been a long campaign but it has been all worthwhile. I am really pleased and really grateful for everyone who went out and voted for us. It will be interesting to see what it will be like working with hubby in the same ward because we were on separate wards in the previous council so it will be interesting to see but I’m sure I’ll… manage.”
On the low turnout, Gareth said:
““Low turnout has always concerned me. There’s a debate of making voting mandatory but that’s a debate for a different day. Local council elections that don’t have a general election attached to them are normally pretty low turnout. This is even more so - we can’t deny Covid is a factor in that, there is a fear factor, some people are still anxious about going out and going into polling stations. I think people have other priorities. I think, where the world is at, it’s not a surprise. Very disappointing but not much of a surprise that it was low. I think we were all expecting it to be fair.”
Terrie added: “Yeah, as much as we expect a low turnout, I think it’s our job to give people something to want to come out and vote for. There has been so much stuff we can talk about but, unless we can actually get around and speak to people and get our messages across, we are not giving people enough reason to get out and vote. It is very important and something we should all be looking at.”
The major sentiment of many newly-elected councillors at today’s count for West Northamptonshire has been that it is time to “get on with the unitary”.
With one exception.
In a day that saw Labour take a number of seats in Northampton town’s wards, leader of the party Danielle Stone was pleased with the footholds the opposition had made - while stating her “anger” for the future for Northampton.
She said: “If we had a unitary Northampton I’m pretty confident it would have been a Labour Northampton.
“I’m really, really angry with the reorganisation that’s been imposed upon us.”
The heated remarks came after Labour won three seats in the town’s Castle ward, and on a day that saw the party lay its biggest claim to Abington & Phippsville, Dallington Spencer and St George.
But by the end of the count, West Northamptonshire had been firmly won by Conservatives with more than 60 seats. It was greatly made up of sweeping wins in South Northamptonshire and Daventry, as well as several districts of Northampton.
Danielle Stone said: “I regret the fact that we’re going to be totally dominated by Conservatives that know nothing about Northampton. Conservatives who have not displayed any curiosity about Northampton and don’t seem willing to engage with its communities.
“The Conservatives likely to form the administration for this area are from South Northamptonshire in areas that have not had to deal with opposition. Democracy is important and opposition is a big part of that.”
Behind this, Councillor Stone said she was “delighted” with the seats won in Northampton and said they were “well deserved”.
Billy James Butler - Con: 975
Adam Charles Collyer - Reform UK: 282
Andrew Stephen Dabbs - Lab: 1,025
Terry Gilford - Con: 1,088 ELECTED
Lauryn Harrington-Carter - Con: 1,042 ELECTED
Wendy Randall - Lab: 1,183 ELECTED
Alasdair James MacKenzie Reid - Lib Dem: 189
Ken Ritchie - Lab: 895
Gordon Smallman - Green: 318
John Boyden Tippett - Daventry West ward standing as Independent: 183
Daventry West: Elected - Terry Gilford and Lauryn Harrington-Carter - both Conservative. Wendy Randall - Labour.
Just two more wards to declare - Duston East and Daventry West
Rufia Ashraf - Lab: 1,230 ELECTED
Harry Bowden - Lib Dem: 221
Gareth Eales - Lab: 1,405 ELECTED
Terrie Eales - Lab: 1,175 ELECTED
Victor Graham-Hole - Con: 697
Aruna Patel - Con: 459
Chintubhai Lalitkumar Shah - Con: 371
Dallington Spencer: Elected - Rufia Ashraf, Gareth Eales and Teresa Eales - All Labour.
Conservatives: 61, Labour: 13, Liberal Democrats: 5, Labour and Co-operative: 3 and Independents: 2. With three wards to go
Richard Lester Paul Auger - Con: 1,869
Jonathan William Harris - Lib Dem: 1,958 ELECTED
Cecile Marie Michelle Irving-Swift - Con: 1,941 ELECTED
Richard Kempa - Lab: 622
Tony Nixon - Lib Dem: 1,497
Kevin Donald Parker - Con: 2,016 ELECTED
Christine Sarah Ware - Lib Dem: 1,629
Brixworth: Elected - Jonathan Harris - Liberal Democrat, Cecile Irving-Swift and Kevin Parker - Conservative.