Election 2016

Exeter council election: Labour's majority increased

Exeter Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Labour gained four seats while the Conservatives lost four, leaving the parties with 30 and eight seats respectively

Labour has retained control of Exeter City Council with an increased majority in the local elections.

The party made gains from the Conservatives as it won 30 of the 39 seats on the council.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter said he was "considering his position" as Conservative group leader of the council.

Control of Plymouth City Council hangs in the balance as no party managed to win a majority.

Image copyright Twitter

Labour gained four seats in Exeter while the Conservatives lost four, leaving them with eight and the Liberals Democrats with one.

Among the winners for Labour were four Exeter University students, Dan Gottschalk, Rose Ashwood, Luke Sills and Lewis Keen, all first-time councillors.

John Chilvers, president of Exeter Labour Students, said: "It's a great testament to our hard work, it is just a shame about how the party performed nationally.

"People should come to Exeter to see what wining is about and how to do it.

"There are no safe seats for Labour so if you didn't work hard you would not achieve this."

Mr Leadbetter said: "Obviously I'm disappointed.

"There is something special about Exeter that seems to make them want to have Labour candidates - they've had a Labour MP here for a long time so it's continuity."

Former Exeter city centre manager John Harvey, who had been standing as the Conservative candidate in the Alphington ward, tweeted that he was "absolutely devastated" at the result.

Image caption Decisions will have to be made over the next few days over who will lead Plymouth City Council

Labour and the Conservatives hold 27 seats each in Plymouth after Labour lost a seat and the Conservatives gained one.

Decisions will have to be made over the next few days over who will lead the city council.

Counting in the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner is due to start later.

Across England, elections are taking place for more than 120 councils and to elect mayors in Bristol, Liverpool, London and Salford.

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