COVENTRY Conservatives are celebrating after holding onto Wainbody Ward with an increased majority in last night’s Coventry City Council by-election.
It followed the death of former Lord Mayor councillor Gary Crookes.
He is replaced on the council by Conservative candidate Mattie Heaven.
She joins fellow Tory councillors for Wainbody John Blundell and Tim Sawdon.
The Conservatives increased their majority from 747 in May this year to 1016, with 53.2 per cent of the vote. Labour (Abdul Jobbar) came third on 18.6 per cent and saw its vote reduced from 919 to 544 from May.
The Lib Dems, in resurgence nationally over its opposition to Brexit, came second with candidate James Morshead, polling 21.6 per cent of the vote.
During the campaign Conservatives spoke out against the development of the greenbelt at King’s Hill.
In her acceptance speech, Coun Mattie Heaven said; “A by-election following the death of a much loved Councillor is a necessary but sad event. Gary Crookes will be much missed and I pay tribute to his hard work and dedication over so many years.
“Over the past few months I have met many residents and I promise never to lose sight of their trust. I will work my hardest to represent all residents in Wainbody Ward in every way.”
Council opposition leader Coun Gary Ridley said: “This is an exceptional result and a real testament to the hard work that Mattie and the team have put in.
“However, it’s also a decisive rejection of this failing Labour administration and a vote of confidence in our plan for Coventry. This will give us a real boost going into next year’s local elections and I’m looking forward to welcoming Mattie to the Conservative Group.”
The Brexit Party candidate George Beamish came fourth with 6.6 per cent.
No Green or UKIP candidate stood this time.