West Berkshire turns orange

After 18 years of Conservative control, the Liberal Democrats won control of West Berkshire Council in the most stunning fashion.

Starting from a base of 16 seats, the Lib Dems leap frogged to 29 seats out of 43, winning in traditional Tory rural heartlands such as Bucklebury.

Local issues included a saga involving Newbury’s football pitch, potholes and the Local Plan. There was also a backcloth of local Tory in-fighting and the national picture.

You have to go back 32 years in the district to when control of the main local council changed from Tory to LibDem hands – that was in 1991.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • Particularly pleased with this one. When I saw the Basildon result I knew if was going to be a landslide. It’s where I grew up, helping my father put up a Dane Clouston poster, attending a Jeremy Thorpe rally, and later engaging in my first political action – a sit-in protest at school (in Theale) against a royal visit from the Queen.

  • David Robert Warren 8th May '23 - 10:45am

    I am of course delighted that the party did so well in West Berkshire but for me the story of the election is the first Labour winner in a regular district election since 1979. Even better the victor Clive Taylor has been contesting the same ward since 1987 and beat the incumbent Tory by one vote.

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