Tumultuous local election night as independents and Conservatives make gains

Labour suffered a bad night at the polls, losing seats across the borough in the local elections.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 11:43 pm
Updated Friday, 4th May 2018, 10:36 am
The counting floor at Robin Park

On a tumultuous evening of politics both independent candidates and the Conservatives triumphed in a string of close races against the red rosette.

Music promoter turned politician Paul Maiden triumphed in Hindley Green, beating Labour's Gena Merrett by 189 votes.

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The counting floor at Robin Park

Fellow independent Andrew Collinson won in Bryn, as Vicky Johnson's second attempt to take the seat fell short.

In the final result of the night Janet Brown for the Shevington Independents also emerged victorious after a recount, defeating Labour's Mike Crosby.

It wasn't all plain sailing for the independent group as leader in the chamber Debbie Fairhurst lost her Standish with Langtree seat.

However, it was the Conservatives who capitalised with Adam Marsh snatching the win from Debbie Parkinson of Labour by just 15 votes, again after a second count.

It was overall a good night for the blue rosette as Richard Clayton returned to the chamber after a break of several years, winning in Orrell, and Ed Houlton retained his Lowton East seat.

Independent eyes were also smiling at the Leigh Sports Village as Stuart Gerrard, a key figure in the Atherton Residents' Association, became an elected representative too.

Labour did rack up some successes and still hold the majority of council seats, with senior names including leader Lord Peter Smith, cabinet member Carl Sweeney, planning committee chairman Paul Prescott and former mayors Ron Conway and Phyll Cullen all among those returning to the chamber.

Jim Talbot only narrowly got back in, with independent ex-councillor Jim Ellis' bid to represent Hindley once again falling short by 158 votes.

Other victories included George Davies in Wigan Central and Clive Morgan in Winstanley, while new Labour councillors Anthony Sykes and Susan Gambles will represent Ashton and Golborne Lowton West respectively.

Turnout was fairly low, with Douglas and Ince wards recording just 20.7 per cent engagement and even in the best-performing areas only one in three people casting a ballot.

Full results:

Golborne Lowton WestWilliam Heaton (Ind) 612Susan Gambles (LAB) 1,280Gerard Houlton (CON) 345AtherleighPaul Fairhurst (CON) 394Lorraine Gillon (LIB) 68Debra Wailes (LAB) 938Anthony Waite (IND) 550InceJames Moodie (LAB) 1,273James O’Neill (IND) 379Yamini Gupta (CON) 188Leigh WestRichard Houlton (CON) 374Jayson Hargreaves (IND) 578Natalie Smalley (LIB) 158Peter Smith (LAB) 1308Worsley MesnesLynne Holland (LAB) 1,449Paul Chapman (CON) 314Joshua Hindle (LIB) 90Maureen McCoy (UKIP) 327PembertonPaul Prescott (LAB) 1,472Susan Atherton (CON) 322David Burley (LIB) 185TyldesleyJulian Marsh (IND) 706Joanne Marshall (LAB) 1344David Stirzaker (CON) 587BrynVicky Johnson (LAB) 973Judith Atherton (CON) 198Denise Melling (LIB) 67Philip Hayden (UKIP) 133Andrew Collinson (IND) 1,065AbramCarl Sweeney (LAB) 1,479Beverley Bridgwater (CON) 404Frank Swift (UKIP) 274Astley Mosley CommonRichard Short (CONS) 1,082Barry John Taylor (LAB) 1,349Stuart Thomas (LIB) 131DouglasShirley Dewhurst (LAB) 1,551Margaret Atherton (CON) 422HindleyJim Talbot (LAB) 1,063Margaret Winstanley (CON) 206John Skipworth (LIB) 58Neil Hancox (GRE) 86Jim Ellis (IND) 905Lowton EastEdward Houlton (CONS) 2,099Garry Lloyd (LAB) 1,346AthertonKaren Aldred (LAB) 1,197Marjorie Clayton (CONS) 334Stuart Andrew Gerrard (IND) 1,779Aspull New Springs WhelleyMichael Owens (CONS) 764Ron Conway (LAB) 1,708Andrew Holland (LIB) 308Leigh SouthCharles Rigby (LAB) 1,531Connor Short (CONS) 1,283AshtonMarie Winstanley (CONS) 36Anthony Sykes (LAB) 1,112Gillian Gibson (UKIP) 109Geoffrey Matthews (LIB) 41Michael Moulding (IND) 793Leigh EastJohn Dowsett (LIB) 288Frederick Walker (LAB) 1,189Denise Alison Young (CONS) 518WinstanleyDaniel Whitehouse (CONS) 509Clive Morgan (LAB) 1,396Steven Heyes (GRE) 195Daniel Singleton (UKIP) 177Neil Stevenson (LIB) 114Hindley GreenJonathan Cartwright (CONS) 287Gena Merrett (LAB) 787Paul Maiden (IND) 976John Thomason (LIB) 305OrrellDenise Capstick (LIB) 367Richard Clayton (CONS) 1,430Eileen Rigby (LAB) 1,273Wigan WestRonnie Clark (DVP) 140Nathan Ryding (UKIP) 176Jean Peet (CONS) 363Phyllis Cullen (LAB) 1,746Standish with LangtreeDebbie Parkinson (LAB) 1,185Debbie Fairhurst (IND) 872Adam Marsh (CON) 1,200 Shevington with Lower GroundMike Crosby (LAB) 1,045Janet Brown (IND) 1,107Allan Atherton (CON) 487Joseph Rylance (GRE) 120Wigan CentralGeorge Davies (LAB) 1518

Lewis David Evans (CON) 834Caroline Waddicor (LIB) 163Gareth Fairhurst (IND) 130Tony Spencer (IND) 89