ELECTIONS: Labour thrilled over county gains

West Sussex County Council elections 2013
West Sussex County Council elections 2013

Crawley’s county Labour group leader is thrilled after her party won six out of nine county council seats being contested in Crawley.

Cllr Brenda Smith retained West Green & Langley Green with a resounding 1,558 votes.

Her party retained one seat and gained a further four from the Conservatives.

Cllr Smith said: “Naturally I’m thrilled to bits to have four new colleagues. I shall be the proudest person when we go to County Hall next week.

“We will still be small but I can promise the people of Crawley that we will speak up for them. This is a vote for people saying enough is enough.”

High profile Conservative councillors Bob Burgess and Howard Bloom were ousted by Labour challengers Peter Lamb and Michael Jones respectively.

Cllr Bob Lanzer, who easily retained Maidenbower for the Tories, said: “It’s always a great pity to lose hard-working colleagues who have done a good job. National factors do have a part to play, like the improved turnout for UKIP. But it was unusual for us to hold seven out of nine seats in Crawley, we’ve never held that many before.”

UKIP did not win any seats but hundreds of people voted them for them in all nine seats.

Crawley UKIP chairman John MacCanna said: “We are in for a fairly good run down here in West Sussex. I have no doubt that the Government will be under pressure to call an EU referendum this year, otherwise Cameron will be toppled.”

The Liberal Democrats had a poor election in Crawley and were forced into fourth place by UKIP and did not poll more than 100 votes in any wards.