Vote 2012: Wrexham council leader Ron Davies loses seat

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Media captionWrexham Liberal Democrat leader Ron Davies on losing his seat

The Liberal Democrat leader of Wrexham council, Ron Davies, has lost his seat to an Independent.

Wrexham is one of 21 unitary local authorities in Wales being contested in local elections.

Labour made large gains to take 23 seats in Wrexham, the first full result announced in Wales, with the Liberal Democrats losing seven councillors.

The party also made gains in Flintshire but not enough to take overall control of the authority.

Wrexham was run by an all-party coalition, with Labour previously the largest party with 12 seats.

The authority will remain under no overall control, as Independents took 18 seats, Conservatives won five, Plaid Cymru one and Non Aligned one.

Mr Davies said he did not expect such a bad result for the Lib Dems in Wrexham.

"It's a great disappointment, particularly for some of the members who are younger than me," he said.

"They've worked so hard for the area and it's pulled the rug from under them."

In Flintshire, Labour won 31 seats, up from 21, to make it the largest party.

The authority was previously run by a Conservative/Independent/Liberal Democrat coalition.

Independents won 19, down five, while the Conservatives took eight seats, and Lib Dems seven.

Labour leader Aaron Shotton said he was pleased with the nine gains his party made in Flintshire, even though it left Labour five short of an overall majority.

Mr Shotton, whose new colleagues include his father Paul, who now represents Connah's Quay Golftyn ward, said six or seven gains would have been a good result for Labour who lost control of the council in 2008.

"It's been a fantastic night across Flintshire," he said.

"We've spoken up for the people of Flintshire. It was always going to be a challenge to win back a majority but we've gained nine seats and I believe that our candidates are going to serve the electorate well."

Arnold Woolley, leader of the coalition of Tories, Lib Dems and Independents, who have run the council for the last four years, said that he expected a weekend of talks about how the council will now run as no one group has a majority.

"Naturally somewhat disappointed because the coalition has put in a lot of hard work," he said

"Labour have come back however, they have not succeeded in winning an overall majority so there will obviously be a degree of negotiations over the next weekend to see who can put together what kind of coalition to sensibly run the county for the next five years."

He said he thought the existing coalition could keep control.

"We have the numbers if everybody stays together as they have done," he added.

Turnout in Flintshire was 35%.

Among those losing their seats this time was the non-aligned member Klaus Armstrong-Braun.

Former Merseyside assistant chief constable Alison Halford kept her seat in Ewloe for the Conservatives.

Deputy leader Tony Sharps, who claimed 85% of the vote in his ward four years ago, was returned again but with a sharply reduced majority.

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