No big changes in Oxfordshire after elections

Cherwell count
Votes have been counted in three council elections in Oxforshire [BBC]

There have been no seismic changes following local elections in Oxfordshire.

West Oxfordshire District and Oxford City councils both remain under no overall control with the Liberal Democrats and Labour as the largest parties respectively.

Cherwell District Council also remains under no overall control – but there have been big gains for the Liberal Democrats.

They have won eight seats, gaining seven from the Conservative party, who had been running the authority as a minority administration.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group David Hingley said: “We are now the largest party on Cherwell District Council for the first time ever.

“We are absolutely over the moon.

“What happens next is we, as the largest party, have the strongest mandate to form a new administration.

“What we’re going to do over the weekend is meet as a group of new councillors and we are going to look at how we can best form that new administration and deliver across the whole of the district and deliver for the people of Cherwell who have given us their mandate today.”

Conservative councillor Barry Wood conceded he would no longer be council leader – having led the authority for 20 years.

He said: “It’s been a bad day for us. To be fair we saw it coming, but you never really know the scale of these things until it happens.

“I’m grateful for the support I’ve had being council leader. But that’s the cut of the cloth – that’s the way it goes.”

Andy Graham
Lib Dem leader Andy Graham celebrated his party gaining three seats on West Oxfordshire District Council [BBC]

In West Oxfordshire, the Liberal Democrats stay as the largest party on 21 seats, having won three extra wards.

Labour and the Green gained one apiece, while the Conservatives lost five.

The Tories lost five of the seven wards they had been defending in West Oxfordshire.

Lib Dem leader Andy Graham said it had been a "fantastic day" for the party.

"The results are good news for our residents - they've voted with their feet and said 'carry on with your partnership work, be positive', and that's what we've been doing."

It is understood the Lib Dems are in discussion with Labour and Green colleagues over forming an administration.

And at Oxford City Council the mood was flat among Labour councillors who have struggled to clinch back their previously held majority they held from 2010 to 2023.

A Labour minority administration will continue.

The resignation of Labour councillors in October, in protest to Keir Starmer not calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, has continued to impact the political structure of Oxford City Council for another year.

Votes in the election for Thames Valley police and crime commissioner (PCC) are due to be counted on Saturday.

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