Labour gain seats on North Tyneside Council
Labour has made gains in North Tyneside despite an election which has seen the party’s future brought into question.
The party now holds 51 seats, up from 48, while the Conservatives have nine, up from seven.
As a result North Tyneside Council is a two-party authority after the borough’s single Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors both lost their seats to Labour candidates.
Veteran councillor Tommy Mulvenna said he was pleased to hold on to his Valley Ward seat despite the coronavirus pandemic causing what he described as “the most bizarre” campaigning season.
He said: “I used so much hand sanitiser I think I got alcohol poisoning. One of the complaints on the doorstep was about rates [council tax] going up.
“I’m happy and my wife will be happy that I’m out from under her feet.”
New councillor Jim Montague gained his seat at the expense of the former Liberal Democrat incumbent Nigel Huscroft, a victory he said he had “mixed emotions” about.
He added: “He [Huscroft] was a very good councillor, one of the good guys.
“I am looking forward to getting stuck in and doing some good things in the Northumberland ward.”
The Conservatives gained seats in Preston, Cullercoats and Tynemouth but lost out to Labour in Monkseaton North.
One of the new Tory seats went to Liam Bones who won one of two Preston seats despite a website linked with his campaign being described as “misleading” by an internet transparency campaigner.
He put his party’s success in the borough down to increasing local anger at council tax hikes.
Coun Bones said: “We have gained seats which we have been trying to do for years – we haven’t held Preston for the best part of a decade.
“People are paying more and more council tax and getting less for it. Bins are getting emptied less and the roads are crumbling people are tired of it.
“Our message is paying less and improving our services – we have proved we can do it.
“Unfortunately we haven’t taken control of the council but we are well on our way back to that position.
“We have got a vision for North Tyneside – a different one and I am hopefull we can make progress over the next few years.”