THE Labour Party are celebrating after Redditch residents went to the polls to vote in two by-elections.

Following the resignation of Conservative councillor Aled Evans in July, a seat on both Redditch Borough Council for Headless Cross and Oakenshaw and Worcestershire County Council for Arrow Valley West became vacant.

Juliet Barker Smith, a local schoolteacher, won the seat of Headless Cross and Oakenshaw, which has been held by the Conservatives for more than 20 years, with 767 votes.

She said, "I am overwhelmed with the trust the people of our ward have given and promise that as your new councillor you have my full commitment to this post.

“Thank you to everyone who voted. You have started a change in our town. I'll do my best to be there to support you through it."

Cllr Andy Fry, who sits on the borough council for Lodge Park Ward won back the county seat he lost in 2021 with 1342 votes.

He said: "I give my thanks to the people of Arrow Valley West for returning me to the county council.

“Whilst on the campaign trail it was clear that residents wanted to feel valued and listened to.

“I will stand up for my residents on these important issues."

Cllr Joe Baker, leader of the Redditch Labour, said its an "amazing victory" for the group.

"I welcome our new Labour borough councillor to my team," said Cllr Baker.

"Juliet Barker Smith has worked so hard and thoroughly deserves her win.

"This seat has not been Labour since 1997.

"Congratulations must also go to Andy Fry.

"Worcestershire County Council now has a fantastic and experienced councillor who will be an effective Labour voice for Redditch."

The turnout for the Arrow Valley West division by-election was 15.8 per cent and for the Headless Cross and Oakenshaw ward, it was 28.19 per cent.