HARD work and the ability to land an ear to residents were the reasons behind a fantastic local election for Redditch’s Conservatives, says Councillor Tom Baker-Price.

Of the ten seats – out of 29 on the council overall – up for grabs in Thursday’s 2019 elections, the Tories retained eight and gained one from Labour, who kept hold of the other.

That has increased the Conservatives’ majority control from 17-12 to 18-11, with Headless Cross and Oakenshaw councillor Baker-Price among those to retain his seat.

He said: “I’m very happy with the results, with the party having won nine out of ten seats across the board. It was close in some areas but we have proven we can win in every ward.

“Our candidates have worked extremely hard to connect with residents, plus we had a good local manifesto and that all contributed to our success.

“Looking at the national picture, I think Redditch’s Conservatives have out-performed the party nationally.

“We have talked to an awful lot of residents, getting out at 4.30 in the morning, and we have had some excellent candidates.”

Only one of the ten seats – eight of which were held by the Tories – being contested changed hands with Conservative Ann Isherwood becoming a councillor for Church Hill.

Greenlands councillor Jennifer Wheeler was the only Labour winner and she felt the national climate had cost her party the chance to pinch some Conservative seats.

She added: “We knew that it would be difficult because of the national situation but we decided it was well worth fighting a good campaign, getting out there and talking to people about local issues.

“We knew we needed to fight for every vote and when we spoke to people on the doorstep we understood they were concerned about Brexit and were upset with politicians.

“We felt the best way was to talk to people, change their assumptions and explain what my role was and how I would work for them – and I think that paid off with my result.”