THE Conservatives managed to cling on to power in Sedgemoor District Council to remain the only-Tory controlled district council left in Somerset.

Where Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and Mendip all went to the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives at Sedgemoor fought off opposition to keep a majority of eight seats.

Labour made a couple of gains to make it to 12 seats overall, although the biggest shock of the afternoon saw Mick Lerry, the Labour leader on Sedgemoor District Council going in to the election, lose his seat by a margin of just 10 votes.

Overall Sedgemoor District Council will consist of 28 Conservatives, 12 Labour, seven Liberal Democrat and one Independent candidate going forwards.

This year’s turnout for the District Council elections was 34.55 per cent, slightly down on the previous election, but not the dip some had feared.

Conservative councillor Gill Slocombe is pleased the Conservatives managed to hang on to their majority on SDC.

“Both Rachael [Lilley] and I are extremely pleased to be re-elected and want to thank all those who voted for us,” Cllr Slocombe said.

“It is a good result for the Conservatives given the national picture.

“I think a lot of it is down to the fact we are doing a good job with Sedgemoor District Council.

“Unemployment is low, we have good economic values, we build quality homes, we care about improving people’s lives and that has shone through.”

Cllr Duncan McGinty said he felt a lot of the electorate were fed up with what had been happening in Westminster when heading to the polls on Thursday.

“I think part of our problem is people are using the local elections to send a message to the party leaders about national issues,” Cllr McGinty said.

“Which is a shame because we will lose a lot of good experienced councillors who work hard for the benefit of the local community.

“When we got the chance to talk to people about our work locally a lot people did appreciate the work SDC has done led by us.”

Cllr McGinty was another who faced a slight scare, holding on to his East Poldens seat by 71 votes over Independent candidate Camael King.

Arguably the biggest Conservative scalp in the Bridgwater area was the former district council chairman Mike Cresswell, who narrowly lost his seat in the Bridgwater Fairfax ward.

Labour made progress with current mayor Diogo Rodrigues making on to the district council in the Dunwear ward, and fought off a stiff campaign in Bridgwater Hamp with Liz Leavy and Leigh Redman winning their seats over Independent candidates Adrian Moore and Stephen Austen.

Labour’s Brian Smedley said: ““I think Labour has re-established itself on the district council with today’s results,” he said.

“We have kicked UKIP out of Dunwear, beaten the Tories in Fairfax.

“We have fought off Independent candidates in Hamp and added Diogo Rodrigues to the council who has the potential to play a lead role in the future.

“We also have a balance of six female and six male councillors.”

“The only negative is losing Mick Lerry. He lost by a narrow margin and Julie Cordiner got in so in terms of net councillors for Labour was the same in Victoria, but Mick is a great ally and experienced councillor who will be missed.”

There were also triumphs for the Liberal Democrats, particularly in the Burnham and Cheddar area, taking their overall number of seats up from just one to seven.

Bill Revans was elected to the North Petherton ward alongside Gary Wong and Conservative Alan Bradford.

You can find the results for your ward in our Live Blog here: