Lib Dems retain control of Cheltenham Borough Council

Lib Dem's Victoria Atherstone and David Willingham who both held their seats
The Liberal Democrats how hold 24 seats on the council [BBC]

The Liberal Democrats have retained control of Cheltenham Borough Council.

In line with other parts of the country, the Conservatives have lost all of their five seats, while the Greens have gained one.

There are 40 seats on the council, with the Liberal Democrats winning 36 of them - four more than 2021.

A former Conservative councillor who lost his seat said the result was "disappointing" but "not surprising" for his party.

Counting is continuing in Cheltenham
Conservative councillors have lost their seats [BBC]

Matt Babbage told the BBC while it was a local election, it was hard to separate it from national issues.

"Although we want to stress it's local elections and about issues that can be done on the council, it's impossible not to separate in the minds of people, the national side from that."

As well as Mr Babbage, the Conservative group leader on the council, Tim Harman, has also lost his seat, after serving Cheltenham for 12 years.

Meanwhile, Victoria Atherstone, a Liberal Democrat councillor said she was "relieved, thrilled and delighted" to have kept her seat.

She added local Conservative losses are sending a national message, telling the BBC some "historical Conservative voters are getting a bit fed up".

"I imagine it's going to be quite tough here in Cheltenham for them to retain the seat," she added.

Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said his party's wins across the country showed the public were "fed up".

Speaking in Winchester, he said: "Across this country, from Cheltenham to Dorset, from West Oxfordshire to here in Winchester, so many people, including lifelong Conservatives are switching to the Liberal Democrats to make that change happen.

"So they can have real champions who are going to work tirelessly for the local community and deliver the fair deal that people so deserve."

The Green Party gained one seat in Cheltenham, moving them up to three, while a candidate for People Against Bureaucracy also won a seat.

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