Labour gains control of Nuneaton and Bedworth

Nuneaton and Bedworth count
Labour have 20 seats in Nuneaton and Bedworth [BBC]

Labour has gained control of Nuneaton and Bedworth Council from the Conservatives in the local elections.

They have 20 seats after gaining 15, as the Tories, who had been in charge since 2021, lost 11 to leave them with 16.

Tory deputy leader Clare Golby, who faced calls to stand down following remarks during a meeting of the children and young people scrutiny committee in January, lost her seat.

Turnout was 27.49% out of an electorate of 101,049.

The win puts Labour back in control for the first time since 2018, with the council having no over control for three years until the Tories took charge in 2021.

The Green Party has the other two seats.

Ms Golby polled 651 votes in Arbury ward in Nuneaton, with fellow Conservative Michael Green getting 602. They were beaten by Labour's Brady Hughes who received 695 and Christian Smith 656.

Labour had just five seats on the council after the last set of local elections in 2022.

Chris Watkins
New Nuneaton and Bedworth borough council leader Chris Watkins said a priority would be finding out the financial situation [BBC]

The parliamentary constituency of Nuneaton has traditionally been a bellwether seat, meaning it has backed the winning party in general elections.

Earlier, Conservative MP for Nuneaton Marcus Jones said town centre regeneration and progress on levelling up was an issue that had "weighed heavily" in the town.

Labour leader and new council leader Chris Watkins said "it could have been a number of issues", including cost of living, following the result.

Asked about priorities, he stated: "First day is I'm gonna be sitting down with the officers finding out the financial situation of the council and then we'll decide a plan from there."

George Duggins
Coventry City Council leader George Duggins was pictured at the count where three Labour gains emerged [BBC]

In Coventry, there have been three Labour gains, three Conservative holds and 11 Labour holds.

An election is still to be held for one ward, after the death of a candidate, which was announced last week.

Asked about the financial situation, the council leader, Labour's George Duggins, said "we understand" an incoming Labour government would have "so many things that they'll need to do".

But he added: "There may be room for manoeuvre in respect to a general fairness of funding.

"That's all we can ask for an incoming government to recognise that Coventry should get at least the national average in respect to its funding."

Meanwhile in Rugby, Labour have taken two seats from the Tories belonging to two cabinet members - Carolyn Watson-Merret, councillor for Admirals and Cawston, and Carolyn Robbins, cabinet member for finance and councillor for Coton and Boughton.

In Rugby, the Conservatives had six seats, Labour five and the Lib Dems two, with one more seat to declare.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, X, and Instagram, Send your story ideas to:

More on this story