Elections: Belper Tory claims he was ousted over toilet closures

Labour have re-gained control of Derbyshire County Council - after sweeping to victory in the local elections.

The party outsted their Conservative counterparts with an overall majority of seats on the authority – nearly doubling their number of councillors.

During a dramatic results day on Friday, May 3 the party won 43 seats, compared to the Tories 18.

Previously, Labour had only held 22 seats following the 2009 election when they were removed from power for the first time in 32 years.

The Lib-Dems slumped from eight seats to just three, while the Tories lost a total of 15 seats.

In Belper, the county-wide Labour swing was felt by councillor Peter Makin, who lost his seat to Labour candidateJohn Owen.

Mr Makin was elected in 2009 and had been the vice-chair of the county council’s planning committee.

He said: “I was affected by the toilet closures in Belper. That’s the only thing John Owen concentrated on, which in fact had nothing to do with the county council.

“I thought we did a good job of keeping council tax down. I also enjoyed being able to support local charities and seeing the council become the third most efficent in the UK for getting kids adopted. I will now bow out gracefully.

“The electorate will now see the results of having a Labour council and I would say watch your back pocket.”

Mr Makin received 981 votes, compared to Mr Owen’s 1,169.

In the Duffield & Belper South ward Conservative Stuart John Bradford held his seat with 1,340 votes, compared to Ben Bellamy’s 831.

Meanwhile in Horsley Tory Kevin Buttery also held on to power with 1,463 votes, compared to the 1,038 votes won by Labour’s John Banks.