The Conservatives scored an impressive gain in one of the byelections held on 30 July, when John Booth won the Brinsley ward on Broxtowe borough council. The seat had previously been held by Sadie Graham-Single who was elected for the British National Party, but had fallen out with the leadership and was expelled from the party. The Conservatives had not stood in the previous election.
The Liberal Democrats defended their control of Cheltenham borough council by retaining the All Saints ward. Charles Stewart improved the party’s majority. Labour held its seat in Denton North East ward, Tameside borough council where Denise Ward was elected.
There are five party changes to report. Joy Garner (Burslem North ward), who had left Labour on Stoke-on-Trent city council in order to join the all-party cabinet of the council’s Conservative leader Ross Irving on 4 June, has now repented of her actions, resigned from the cabinet and rejoined the Labour group. She had been threatened with expulsion from the Labour Party nationally.
On Leeds city council, Linda Rhodes-Clayton (Hyde Park and Woodhouse ward) has left the Liberal Democrats and will sit as an Independent. She had been suspended from the party for some months while on trial for benefit fraud in 2008, but returned when acquitted. Her recent move was prompted by her deselection as candidate for the 2010 elections.
Alan Akeister, who represents Southam ward on Stratford-on-Avon district council, has resigned from the Conservative Party to sit as an Independent because he feels the Conservative group is dominated by Stratford-upon-Avon interests and disagrees with the national direction of his former party. Meanwhile on Merthyr Tydfil county borough council, two Independent councillors have joined the UK Independence Party. They are Adam Brown (Gurnos ward) and Neil Greer (Penydarren ward).
Her Majesty has given her Royal Assent to the Scottish Local Government (Elections) Act 2009, an Act of the Scottish Parliament which extends the term of councillors elected in 2007 to 2012 and provides that councillors elected in 2012 shall serve until 2017.