Results are in for Staffordshire Moorland District Council’s Local Elections – but there’s no overall majority.
Labour gained four seats, reaching 13 in total. While the Conservatives lost six, finishing the day on just 25 seats.
The Liberal Democrats managed to snatch one seat in Biddulph South thanks to their candidate John Redfern.
The Independents increased their grip on the Moorlands, gaining nine seats to see their total rise to 17 all in.
But it was Labour’s Connor Brady who won in Biddulph East, aged 19, who stole the show, with councillors and candidates remarking he might have made history and could be the youngest ever elected in the Moorlands.
Pipped to the post for youngest Moorlands councillor was Conservative Joe Porter, who despite winning for the first time aged 22 in Brown Edge and Endon, will not be crowned youngest councillor at this election.
Veteran Labour councillor and former Moorlands MP Charlotte Atkins was pleased with the party’s gains, but said more accountability was needed in the district council if a coalition were to form again.
She said: “There could well be a coalition, but there needs to be greater accountability for the council, because we’ve seen three Conservative councillors removed from committees because of wrongdoing.
"We’ve had an ongoing police investigation into different aspects of a council. So it has to be about greater transparency, greater openness and more accountability of both individual councillors but also collectively as a council as a whole.”
Cheadle West saw three Conservative seats lost to Independents, marking a key battleground for future elections.
Councillor Brian Johnson, a former Conservative, stood and won and as an Independent claiming Brexit as his main reasons for defecting.
He said: “First and foremost, I couldn’t remain a member of the Conservative party for the way they’ve dealt with Brexit. I am an adamant leaver and they are stitching us up to ensure we don’t leave. It’s atrocious.”
But young Councillor Porter didn’t let defections and heavy losses dampen his spirits. After the count he pledged to work tirelessly for the next four years to recuperate losses and bring through more young councillors.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted that lots of our young Conservative candidates have won the elections in which they stood.
"I’m looking forward to the next four years so we can deliver our positive vision for the Staffordshire Moorlands and to make life better for our local residents.”