Epsom and Ewell borough council provided two shock results in byelections held on 26 February. First the Ruxley ward was won by the Conservatives, gaining a seat from the local Residents’ Associations who control the council; then a few minutes later Labour was declared to have regained the Court ward seat which it had lost in 2007 to the Liberal Democrats.
The Liberal Democrats can however celebrate a win in Honiton St Michaels ward of East Devon district council where they took a previously Conservative seat. The two other byelections were both held by the Conservatives: Rushall-Shelfield ward of Walsall borough council, and Greasley (Giltbrook and Newthorpe) ward on Broxtowe borough council.
Bristol city council changed control this week when the Conservatives backed the Liberal Democrats in voting down a budget proposal to spend council money on a waste incinerator. The Labour minority administration, which considered it an issue of confidence, then resigned and a minority Liberal Democrat administration has taken over.
Two councillors changing groups fall to be noted. Kevan Wakefield, elected for the Labour Party to Nottinghamshire county council in Mansfield South division, has left his party because of his opposition to the proposed waste incinerator on the Rufford Colliery site. He is currently sitting as an “Independent: anti-incineration” councillor.