Labour lost both seats it was defending in the byelections held on 2 April. The Conservatives won a second seat in the split ward of Temple Newsam on Leeds city council, with the British National Party winning a very close finish for second against Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats unexpectedly gained a seat in Dormanstown ward of Redcar and Cleveland council.
The other byelections were all held. The Liberal Democrats increased their majority over the Conservatives in Belsize ward, Camden borough council. In a byelection which had previously escaped our attention, a new Independent councillor was elected in Wiveliscombe and West Deane ward of Taunton Deane borough council. Eddie Gaines succeeds John Bone who had been disqualified for not attending any council meeting for six months.
Four seats were held by the Conservatives, relatively narrowly in Skircoat ward, Calderdale borough council, but more comfortably in Felpham West ward, Arun district council, in Ramsey ward, Huntingdonshire district council, and in Moulton, Weston and Cowbit ward, South Holland district council.
As previously reported, Dundee city council has switched control and now has an SNP administration. The reform of local government in seven counties happened on 1 April without any reported hitches. One newly named authority has been created in the shape of Central Bedfordshire council; if you follow the link you will see its temporary composition before the first elections in June. The council currently consists of all those previously elected to Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire district councils, together with all those elected to Bedfordshire county council within their areas. Some individual councillors served on both tiers but they have only one vote.
There is one change of party to note this week. Kabeer Hussain, who was elected to Leeds city council in Hyde Park and Woodhouse ward in 2007 as a Liberal Democrat, had left the party and joined Labour in 2007. Within six months he had left Labour to sit as an Independent, citing the collapse of Northern Rock as the reason. This week he rejoined the Liberal Democrats.