amber Valley will remain a Conservative stronghold after the Tories dropped just one seat to a Labour candidate in the borough council elections.
A total of 29,430 people (45.83 per cent) out of an electorate of 64,210 voted on Thursday, May 5.
A third of the seats on Amber Valley Borough Council were up for grabs on the day, which saw an increase in turn-out of nearly 12 per cent compared to 2007, when the same seats were contested.
The only fly in the ointment amidst the Tory celebrations was the loss of the Heage and Ambergate seat to Labour, previously held by Cllr Julliette Blake, who resigned her post earlier in the year.
Labour’s Maurice Gent took the vacant seat by a slim margin, making a return to the borough council chambers for the first time since 2000.
He said: “I feel good about it. I did a lot of work and I took 2,700 leaflets to isolated places. I looked at each area and the problems they have, concentrating on local issues.
“My loyalty is towards the local people, national politics doesn’t come into areas like ours.”
The make up of the council now means the Conservative group has 28 seats, Labour 15 and the British National Party two.
Leader of the council, Cllr Stuart Bradford, was pleased with the Conservative result, especially considering rivals Labour made large gains elsewhere in the country, including on neighbouring Derby City Council.
He convincingly held his own Duffield seat, receiving more than double the votes of his nearest Labour rival.
Cllr Bradford said: “We lost the one seat, but all in all I am satisfied with the result. We would have been delighted had we held all of our seats going into the next election.
“But it was a good turn out and we are grateful to the people of the borough for their continued support.”
Cllr Bradford, who succeeded fellow Tory Cllr Alan Cox in 2007 as leader of the authority, said his party would now focus on improving Amber Valley’s town centres.
Labour group leader Paul Jones said Labour could take positives from the result. He said: “I think we did very well, we increased our votes in all the seats we stood in and we were the only party that got a seat we did not have before. We have done well but obviously not well enough — we start off next week to bring the fight again.”