Tories tighten grip on Worthing Borough Council

Paul Baker (Con) wins the seat for Broadwater ward in the 2016 Worthing Borough Council elections.

Paul Baker (Con) wins the seat for Broadwater ward in the 2016 Worthing Borough Council elections.

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The Conservatives tightened their grip on Worthing Borough Council this afternoon as the Liberal Democrats lost ground.

The Tories took 11 of the 13 seats up for grabs in yesterday’s election, while the Lib Dems lost two councillors, including leader Keith Sunderland.

The Lib Dems’ only joy was keeping hold of Tarring, with former councillor Hazel Thorpe a comfortable victor.

UKIP lost lead councillor Charles James in Castle ward but gained Mr Sunderland’s Northbrook seat, leaving the borough with no overall opposition party.

The Conservatives now hold 32 of the 37 seats, with two UKIP, two Lib Dems and a single Green councillor on the opposition benches.

Council leader Dan Humphreys said: “It is a massive vote of confidence in the Conservatives who have run Worthing. I am hugely proud of our candidates who have worked so hard and reaped the rewards for that.”

Labour failed to win their first seat since the 1970s but were delighted to run the Tories close in several wards.

They fell 34 votes short of winning Central ward, were 71 short in Heene and lost Selden by 28 votes.

Jim Deen, who placed second in Heene, said: “We are disappointed that came close in three wards. It’s unfortunate that we just weren’t able to get across the line.

“We are building a strong base from where we have been for the future. I think it bodes really well for what will happen next year and the following year.”

Turnout was 32 per cent in Worthing, slightly lower than Adur where just over 33 per cent voted.

See our live blog for the results as they happened.

Click here for ward-by-ward results.