NEWBURYTODAY is once again live at the count at Newbury Racecourse as it is revealed which councillors are elected to represent you on Newbury and Thatcham town councils.
Previously, Newbury Town Council had a Liberal Democrat majority, led by Julian Swift-Hook. The Lib Dem's also had a majority at Thatcham Town Council.
Councillors not standing for Newbury Town Council this year are: Eva Franks (Con, Brummel Grove); Kim Hodges (Lib Dem, Northcroft); Catherine Kent (Lib Dem, Northcroft); Richard Kingsley Evans (Con, St Johns) Gabrielle McGarvey (Lib Dem, St Johns) Ieuan Tuck (Con, St Johns) and David Allen (Lib Dem, Victoria).
Councillors not standing for re-election to Thatcham Town Council are: John Boyd (Lib Dem, Thatcham south & Crookham). Mr Boyd is standing for election to Newbury Town Council in Falkland Ward, however. Phoenix Dewdney (Lib Dem, Thatcham central); Janette Miranda (Lib Dem, Thatcham south & Crookham) Lynne Pettyfer (Lib Dem, Thatcham west) and John Horton (Con, Thatcham north).
Thatcham town councillor and Conservative agent Dominic Boeck tells Thatcham reporter John Herring:
"I'm absolutely delighted. It will be a great time for Thatcham. With a majority in Thatcham we can work in partnership with our colleagues in West Berkshire Council in a way that has not happened before. We have lots of ideas on ways to improve Thatcham."
That makes the MP, district council, Newbury town and Thatcham town all represented by the Conservatives.
Dominic Boeck (1,424) Roger Croft (1,690); Rob Denton-Powell (1,652); Julie Goode (1,433) Nathan Gregory (1,470) and Anne Johnson (1,316) are all elected to Thatcham Town Council.
The Lib Dems have suffered yet again, they started the day with 13 seats and ended with five. The Tories have jumped from five to 15.
Thatcham goes to the Conservatives, with the final six seats at south and Crookham going blue. That puts the final tally at 15 to the Conservatives and three to the Lib Dems.
Here we go folks, Thatcham south and Crookham candidates are coming forward.
A stunned local Conservative group leader, Tony Stretton, said on his party taking over control of Newbury Town Council: "I'm absolutely thrilled. The victory in Victoria ward was not expected.
"Newbury Town Council needed a change of administration. It has been Lib Dem for too long.
"The people of Newbury have decided that they would like a new administration and I hope that we will be able to do things differently and better for Newbury residents."
Victoria ward goes to the Conservatives. Some very youthful looking Conservatives at that.
That puts the final tally for Newbury Town Council at 18 Conservative seats and five to the Lib Dems. Another mauling for the party, losing six seats.
Miles Evans (896); James Fredrickson (875); Emma Green (879) and Mike Johnston (848)
Newbury Conservative chairman Tony Stretton tells us he is delighted with the result, adding that it was completely unexpected.
Victoria candidates are on the stage
Candidates for Thatcham south and Crookham and Victoria wards are milling around in front of us having been called forward to the stage.
There's a second recount for Victoria ward, while a recount is also being held for Thatcham south crookham.
Former leader of Newbury Town Council, Julian Swift-Hook (Lib Dem) said on losing control of Newbury Town Council: "It has been a devastating election for the Liberal Democrats, both nationally and locally, so it's no surprise that we have suffered significant losses on the town council.
"But we have retained a significant minority, enough to ensure that Lib Dem voters will be represented on the town council going forward."
On being elected Adrian Edwards (Con) said: "It has been a delight to be here for the last three days. I was quite astonished at the result of the parliamentary and the district elections.... The town council being the grass roots of any organisation at last we have managed to take control of all three - that must be good."
The Conservatives have taken control of Newbury Town Council. They have 14 seats to the Lib Dem's five.
Falkland is the latest to declare with Howard Bairstow (Con) 1,927; Adrain Edwards (Con) 1,832; David Fenn (Con) 1,604 and Kuldip Singh Kang (Con) 1,568 all retaining their seats.
Apolitical candidate for northcroft, Charlie Farrow, said: "It's been a long haul.
"We were quite struck by the fact that people were voting very much along national party political lines.
"The trouble is people weren't really considering the local aspect at all.
"We have certainly had a great deal of very encouraging comment from people on the doorstep and we are certainly not going to stop being the unofficial opposition."
Laney Allen, Maureen Bailley, Paul Bateman, Stephen Cook, Tim Davis, Christine Holmes, Michael Kaye, Ruth Kaye Neil Patterson, Darren Peace David Smith are elected to Kintbury Parish Council.
Anthony Stansfeld, district councillor for Kintbury and police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley Police, did not stand. Andrew Stott, of the patriotic socialist party, was the only candidate not to be elected.
There were 88 rejected votes.
The count for Thatcham south and Crookham is still ongoing but is taking place on two tables.
Newbury Town Council so far: Conservatives 10 - Lib Dems five
Victoria and Falkland wards still to come.
St Johns results coming in
Three more seats to the Conservatives and one to the Lib Dems.
John Gardner (Lib Dem) 1,476; Sarah Greenall (Con) 1,540; Anthony Pick (Con) 1,459 and Andrew Steele (Con) 1,538
Northcroft is split - but it's between the Lib Dems and Tories.
Jeanette Clifford (Con) 1,191; Lynne Doherty (Con) 1,070; Martha Vickers (Lib Dem) 953; and Jo Day (Lib Dem) 965
69 rejected ballot papers
The big one! Northcroft candidates called forward. Will the apolitical candidates get on to the town council? Four Conservatives, four Lib Dems and four apoliticals are standing for the four seats.
Current leader at Thatcham Town Council Bob Morgan (Lib Dem) tells Thatcham reporter John Herring:
"We don't take a view that's a poor performance on the town council. We take it as the national mood and situation.
"It's an award winning council, delivering things for people in Thatcham. The Priory project will be supported, it's valuable to Thatcham people and a great asset for the town and the decision to buy the toilets, and we hope all these will be continued if the Conservatives take over the town council."
Inkpen parish councillors are as follows:
Keith Evans, Claire Jones, Robert May, David Thomas, Vanessa Tomlinson, Linda Wild, David Wilson.
The Conservatives take three seats at Thatcham west. Jeff Brooks holds onto his Lib Dem seat on the town council.
That puts the Conservatives at nine and the Lib Dems at three. 12 seats down six to go.
Jeff Brooks 1,363; Steve Ardagh-Walter (1,481) John Chelliah (1,302) and Nick Goodes (1,461)
Thatcham west candidates called forward.
St Johns announcement about to be called. No wait, sounds like a recount.
That brings the Thatcham tally to six for the Conservatives and two for the Liberal Democrats. 10 needed for a majority.
Seats at Newbury so far are Conservatives 5 - Lib Dems 2. 23 seats available.
Thatcham north is split with two Lib Dems and two Conservatives. Lee Dillon (1,173) and Mike Cole (1,121) are re-elected as is Shelia Ellison(1,301). Jason Collis (1,349)
Deputy leader of the town council Owen Jeffery (Lib Dem) loses his seat.
55 rejected ballots
Mr Dillon said: "It has been a close election in Thatcham north. The results haven't been good for the Liberal Democrats in the Newbury constituency and in the town over the last couple of days. I feel that that's partly a reflection of the national picture. We know we have delivered some good work for the town council. We may lose control of the town council today; if we do we are proud of what we have done for Thatcham and we hope that our Conservative colleagues will continue that good work."
Thatcham north candidates called forward. Four councillors to be returned.
The announcement for Stanford Dingley parish council is in. Just Inkpen and Kintbury left at parish level.
The count for Inkpen and Stanford Dingley parish councils has begun. Victoria ward, St Johns, Northcroft, Thatcham west and Thatcham north are also underway.
The Thatcham central result means the Conservatives have four of the 18 seats on the town council. Until this election they had five to the Lib Dem's 13. Will the national and district council trend be reflected at a more local level? We'll have to see.
Counting for Northcroft ward at Newbury is underway. Twelve candidates are contesting the four seats; four Apoliticals, four Conservatives and four Liberal Democrats in the fight.
Out-going Thatcham councillor Gary Johnson, who will remain mayor until the ceremony later this month, said: "Being mayor has been a wonderful experience. I will miss it. I will be watching the town council very closely in the hope that they carry on the good work that the Liberal Democrats have done.
Tracy Audsley, Pete Blagden, John Bull, Tony Butcher, Nick Carter, Phil Challis, Austin Colaco, Michael Dennett, Julian Earl, Neil Kiley, Christopher Lewis, Mollie Lock, Angela Philips, Andrew Richardson and Pat Wingfield have all been elected to Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council.
The only candidate to not be successful was Dudley Ives, who received the fewest votes along with Julian Earl. A "lucky dip" drawer by returning officer Nick Carter gave one extra vote to Mr Earl.
Thatcham central goes Conservative. The current mayor Gary Johnson loses his seat on the town council. Conservatives Jan Cover (1,310 votes), Ellen Crumly (1,631), Richard Crumly (1,368) and Monika Tabat (984) will represent the ward.
Following the announcement, referring to receiving fewer votes than his wife, Mr Crumly said: "It seems I play second fiddle not only at home but also in the election as well.
"To all our supporters, I say thank you very much indeed."
Thatcham central results are about to be announced.
Stratfield Mortimer parish council count has finished. There's a split vote for one of the seats so returning officer Nick Carter draws lots to decide the result. Liberal Democrat candidate for northcroft Martha Vickers shouts: "That's not fair."
"That's the law," Mr Carter replies.
The counting for Thatcham central has finished. Those currently underway are Thatcham west, St Johns and Stratfield Mortimer parish.
On hearing the result, Mr Beck said: "I would like to send particular thanks to all of the residents in Clay Hill who have supported us in the past and have put their faith in us for the future. Thank you."
Mr Stretton added: "I'm thrilled to be back in with Jeff and Dave. I'm even more thrilled at the fact that Margo has been elected. From what I'm aware it's the first time that Clay Hill has had four Conservative councillors."
Clay Hill goes to the Conservatives. Tony Stretton, Jeff Beck, David Goff and Margo Payne are elected to the town council.
Tony Stretton 1,183; Jeff Beck 1,474; David Goff 1,283 and Margo Payne 1,164.
Liberal Democrat numbers were: Tony Harris 735; Chris Hood 725 and Simon Pike 657.
The results for Brimpton parish council have been announced. Candidates and agents for Clay Hill ward of Newbury Town Council have been called forward.
Mr Swift Hook said: "I am absolutley delighted that the Greenham Liberal Democrat team for the town council are going to be carrying on representing residents for the next four years."
Arthur Johnson (Lib Dem) and Julian Swift Hook are re-elected to Pyle Hill ward at Newbury Town Council. Mr Johnson wins 420 votes, Mr Swift Hook 368. Conservatives Chris Austin 311 and Jeremy Bartlett 275. There were 14 rejected votes.
The candidates for Pyle Hill have been called forward.
David Fish (Con) is elected to Brummell Grove ward with 164 votes. Ceinwen Lally (Lib Dem) receives 118. There were seven rejected ballots.
Candidates and agents for the Brummell Grove ward have been called forward.
Recently elected district councillor for Thatcham south and Crookham, Rob Denton Powell (Conservative) tells Thatcham reporter John Herring:
"It's really, to me, about making a difference. You can either sit there and moan or get involved and try and make a difference."
He said that his key issue for the town was to trying to encourage and develop youth sport in the area, as well as looking to see what he could for other issues such as education.
Newbury MP Richard Benyon said that local election results are the hardest to predict: "The more local the elections the more local personalities matter and that leads to some very interesting and different results.
"It has been an extraordinary journey but majorities and numbers don't actually matter. What really matters is we have got some really good councillors who are going to do great things for local people and that's the exciting thing."
The count for Brimpton Parish Council has started.
The counting for Pyle Hill at Newbury Town Council has finished. The count for Thatcham central has begun.
There's a flurry of activity around table four, where the Clay Hill count is being held. We're still waiting for the first result, even though the counting for Brummel Grove has been completed.
The count for Brummel Grove has finished. One candidate will be elected to Newbury Town Council. Lib Dem and Conservatives standing.
Conservative and Lib Dem agents have been called to one of the tables. First result imminent.
The count for Thatcham west, Pyle Hill, Brummel Grove, Clay Hill and Stratfield Mortimer parish council is under way.
There are 18 seats up for grabs at Thatcham Town Council. The Lib Dems currently have 13 and the Conservatives have five.
There are four Thatcham wards. central; north; south and Crookham and West. All wards will elect four representatives apart from south and Crookham which will have six.
There are 37 candidates standing for election to Thatcham Town Council. The Lib Dems and Conservatives are fielding 18 each, while Labour have put forward one candidate.
The verification has finished and the count is underway.
Verification is underway. Some wards have finished the process.
There are 23 Lib Dem candidates standing for Newbury Town; 23 Conservatives; three Labour and four apoliticals
There are 23 seats up for grabs at the previously Liberal Democrat held Newbury Town Council.
There are seven wards - Brummel Grove; Clay Hill; Falkland; Northcroft; Pyle Hill; St Johns and Victoria - and there are 53 candidates standing across the seven wards.
There's a rustling of papers as the polling slips are shuffled. Won't be long now.