Labour victory paints the Town Hall red in Sheffield

Celebrations: Labour councillors celebrate nine gains in local elections.
Celebrations: Labour councillors celebrate nine gains in local elections.
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JUBILANT Labour Party members are celebrating after huge gains for the second year running at Sheffield Council elections - more than doubling their overall majority.

The ruling party now has an iron grip at Sheffield Town Hall, holding 59 of 84 seats and a majority of 34.

It previously had a majority of 16 after sweeping back to power last year following three years in opposition.

Labour has gained nine seats from the Lib Dem opposition for a second year running, with victories in Beauchief and Greenhill, Broomhill, Hillsborough, East Ecclesfield, Mosborough, Nether Edge, Stocksbridge and Upper Don, Walkley and West Ecclesfield.

Former Lib Dem council leader Paul Scriven was among the Lib Dems to lose their seats.

Coun Julie Dore, Labour council leader, said: “People have shouted loud and clear across the country that they are not happy with the Government’s policies - and that has been reflected in Sheffield.

“The Lib Dems are the ones keeping the Tories in power.

“In Sheffield, people feel they have not kept their promises and are not standing up for working-class people.”

Coun Dore said her party would be focused on helping to ‘create jobs and support communities’.

She said: “We have already created 100 apprenticeships and our policy is to create 100 more over the coming year.

“We are also creating a ‘Keep Sheffield Working Fund’ to help businesses.”

After the result was announced, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Lib Dem MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: “Seeing friends and colleagues lose their council seats is not easy. They have all worked extremely hard for the communities they represented over the years.

“Losing councillors is hard to take, but it is often the price parties in Government pay in mid-term, as Labour found out a few years ago.”

Mr Clegg said he was ‘pleased’ his party had not lost any seats in his constituency, where Labour was challenging in Stannington ward and the Tories in Dore and Totley.

Mr Clegg said: “I am pleased to see Lib Dems in Sheffield kept the Tories in check.

“I know our group leader on Sheffield Council, Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, and the rest of the team will continue to be the strong opposition to Labour that Sheffield needs on the council.”

Coun Mohammed said he wanted to stay on as group leader - although that is subject to approval from party colleagues at the group’s annual general meeting.

He said: “I am disappointed to lose hard working Lib Dem councillors. It has been difficult across the board.

“However, I am encouraged that we won every seat in Nick’s constituency and beat off the Tories comfortably.”

Labour now has 59 councillors, up from 50, whereas the Lib Dems are down from 32 to 23.

The Green Party, which safely defended Central against a Labour challenge, retains two seats.

Coun Rob Murphy Green Party Central member, who kept his seat with a majority of 429, said: “The result is a reflection upon the fact we are making a difference.

“People believe and trust Green Party councillors and part of that is the hard work we do in the ward.

“One of the issues we find is how disappointed people are in what is being offered by the main political parties.

“We are only a small group, but if Labour ignore us they are going to pay at the ballot box.

“We had the balance of power two years ago, but don’t any more.

“However, if ideas are popular, we can push them.”

He said his priority is to ‘represent the ward’.

There was disappointment for the Conservatives, who were hoping to fight back in their former heartlands of south west Sheffield.

Former city councillor Anne Smith came within 500 votes of defeating Lib Dem deputy group leader, Coun Colin Ross, in Dore and Totley, while Vonny Watts came second in Fulwood.

However, the majority party in Government still has no elected representatives on Sheffield Council.

UKIP was second in a number of seats in poorer areas of the city.

The election saw the return to Sheffield Town Hall of Lib Dem Penny Baker, a former cabinet member, and Roy Munn, brother of Sheffield Heeley Labour MP Meg Munn, who won Beauchief and Greenhill.

Former Lib Dem councillor John Hesketh, standing as an Independent, failed in his bid to regain a seat in Crookes.

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SHEFFIELD ELECTION RESULTS 2012: Sheffield’s ex Council leader Paul Scriven loses his seat plus full round up ofr all wards - CLICK HERE.

ROTHERHAM ELECTION RESULTS 2012: Labour wipes out BNP and retains control - for full report and results CLICK HERE.

BARNSLEY ELECTION RESULTS 2012: Labour gains nine seats and tightens its control, including shock win in Tory Penistone - CLICK HERE.

DONCASTER ELECTION RESULTS 2012: Doncaster Election Results: Labour sweeps past 50-seat mark