Fri, 08 May 2015
THE polling stations are closed and people from across West Berkshire have cast their vote for the district council elections.
We'll be updating our website throughout the day with political tweets, opinions and, of course, the all important results.
The count is scheduled to start at 11am at Newbury Racecourse, with results expected to be announced by 5pm.
19.23 - The final results are announced! Taking Falkland ward is Howard Bairstow with 1,902 votes (29 per cent) and Adrian Edwards (Con) with 1,764 votes (27 per cent).
19.08 - Lib Dem group leader Jeff Brooks and colleague Keith Woodhams both lose seats for Thatcham West. Taking their places are Conservatives Steve Ardagh-Walter and Nick Goodes.
18.59 - Roger Croft wins back his seat in Thatcham South and Crookham, along with fellow Conservative Rob Denton-Powell.
18.56 - Former council leader Gordon Lundie and Graham Jones, both Conservative, reelected to represent the Lambourn Valley ward with 1,924 and 2,212 votes each.
18.52 - Labour's Jonny Roberts after being defeated in St John's ward: "Obviously I'm very disappointed especially to go backwards from last time."
18.45 - Purley ward member Tim Metcalfe (Con) took a swipe at Labour Party candidate saying: "I wanted to shake the Labour candidates hand, but I don't think anyone in Purley has seen him."
18.40 - Lib Dems are looking glum. It's been a difficult day for them at the local elections.
Council leader Gordon Lundie (Con) said he was "very surprised" saying he didn't expect such favourable results.
18.33 - Alan Law keeps Conservative seat in Basildon.
18.30 - Pamela Bale retains her Pangbourne seat with 1,076 votes (63 per cent).
18.25 - Anthony Stansfeld tells reporter Dan Cooper: "Kintbury is one of the nicest places in the country to live and I intend to do my best to keep it that way."
18.23 - Keith Chopping remains the ward member for Sulhamstead, with 1,029 votes (65 per cent).
18.19 - Former Thatcham South and Crookham councillor Dominic Boeck wins seat first time standing for Aldermaston.
18.16 - And in Bucklebury, Conservatives Graham Pask and Quentin Webb win back their seats.
18.12 - It's two new faces for Northcroft as Jeanette Clifford and Lynne Doherty win seats from former councillors Gwen Mason and Tony Vickers. Ms Mason in tears as the result is announced.
18.10 - And in Compton, Virginia von Celsing retains her seat with 1,191 votes - 67 per cent.
18.05 - Liberal Democrat and former council leader Royce Longton loses Burghfield seat to Conservatice Ian Morrin. Carol Jackson-Doerge keeps her seat.
18.03 - It's two new faces for Victoria ward as Conservatives Dennis Benneyworth and James Fredrickson beat former Lib Dem ward member Roger Hunneman. Liberal Democrat David Allen, who had previously held the post alongside Hunneman, is not standing.
17.59 - Clive Hooker (Con) gets the only Downlands seat. He is taking over from former councillor George Chandler (Con) who is not standing this time.
17.55 - Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld keeps his Conservative seat in Kintbury, with Conservative James Cole replacing former councillor Andrew Rowles (Con) who is not standing this year.
17.47 - In Purley-on-Thames, Conservative candidates Rick jones and Tim Metcalfe win 71 per cent of the votes between them, with 2,448 and 2,549 votes each, and in Westwood Laszlo Zverko retains seat with 1,048 votes (66 per cent).
17.42 - The ward with the highest turnout this year was Basildon with 80.08 per cent, and the lowest was Victoria ward with 61.96 per cent
17.38 - Emma Webster speaks to NewburyToday reporter Dan Cooper on the Conservatives winning all three seats in Birch Copse ward: "Thank you to all the residents regardless of what party they voted for.
"It is important that people exercise their democratic right.
"I also want to say thanks to the opposition for a clean and fair fight."
17.28 - In Speen, both seats are held by Conservative councillors Marcus Franks and Paul Bryant, who achieved 1,700 and 1,828 votes respectively.
17.25 - Alan Macro remains in Lib Dem seat in Theale.
17.20 - Conservative Graham Bridgman, newly elected to Mortimer ward, pays tribute to the man he replaced Geoff Mayes describing him as "a very hard act to follow."
17.11 - Cheers in the room as the Conservatives roar into an 18-3 lead and retain all three seats in Calcot. Peter Argyle and Manohar Gopal keep their seats, along with a third won by Richard Somner.
17.07 - Anthony Pick (Con) wins a district council seat for the St John's ward, alongside party colleague Mike Johnston.
17.01 - Cold Ash seat is retained by Conservative Garth Simpson, who won 75 per cent of the votes in his ward, and in Clay Hill the seats remain with Jeff Beck and Dave Goff.
16.53 - Geoff Mayes loses his seat to Conservative Graham Bridgman in Mortimer. The ward's second seat is retained by long-serving councillor Mollie Lock.
16.50 In the Birch Copse ward, Conservative councillors Emma Webster and Tony Linden hold onto their seats, with an additional seat won by Conservative Anthony Chadley.
16.21 Thatcham Central result - Conservatives Richard Crumly and Marigold Jaques win the seats.
16.19 Hungerford ward result is in and both seats have been retained by the Conservatives. James Podger and Paul Hewer re elected.
15.50 Julian Swift-Hook says he's "extremely disappointed" to lose Greenham seat.
15.47 Two wards and four seats have so far been declared. Conservatives and Lib Dems have two seats apiece.
15.28 Result for Greenham is in - and it's a bit of a surprise. Julian Swift-Hook has lost the seat he held for 15 years with the Conservative Jeremy Bartlett gaining the seat. Lib Dem candidate Billy Drummond retains seat.
15.18 Well, that result certainly bucked the national trend didn't it?
15.14 New district councillor for Thatcham North, Lib Dem Lee Dillon was visibly emotional after result was announced. Says he is 'delighted'.
14.58 The first ward has been declared! There's a change at Thatcham North with The Liberal Democrats gaining one seat from the Conservatives. Lee Dillon elected with a majority of 2,160 votes for Lib Dem and Sheila Eliison retaining her seat for Conservatives with 1,523.
14.42pm Current West Berkshire Council leader Gordon Lundie and re-elected MP Richard Benyon chatting while the votes are being counted. Mr Benyon says he has only had a couple of hours sleep. He's tired - but very happy after this morning's result.
14.36pm Excitement building here as the count continues. Waiting for the first result to come in.
13.58 By my calculations the counts have started for eight of the 52 wards up for grabs.
13.29pm Clay Hill, Birch Copse, Victoria, Calcot and Thatcham North wards all being counted now.
13.23 The count has started! Here we go!
13.20 Minutes away from the count now. Birch Copse ward among the first to be counted. The seat is currently held by the Conservatives.
13.05 The council's Returning Officer has said the votes will start to be counted at 1.25pm. The first wards to be counted will be Birch Copse, Calcot, Thatcham North, Clay Hill, Mortimer, Thatcham Central and Greenham.
12.42pm Council leader Gordon Lundie and opposition leader Jeff Brooks are both here. Both appear relaxed and smiling - but the count hasn't started yet..
12.24pm Liberal Democrat Julian Swift-Hook says he is optimistic of retaining his Greenham seat. Speaking about the Lib Dems general election performance he added: "We knew it was going to be a difficult night, what we didn't realise how difficult."
11.55am Still no news on when the count will start. Verification has started on some wards though so moving in the right direction.
11.20am Despite the delay everyone here is buzzing - some through excitement, others through the coffee they are drinking to stay awake after the general election.
11.12am Conservative Alan Law, who is hoping to retain his Basildon seat, says the only thing better than the party's national general election performance was Liverpool's comeback against AC Milan in the Champions League final (he's a Liverpool fan).
11.04am The votes are being re verified. No news yet on exactly when the count will start.
10.38am We are here at Newbury Racecourse and twenty minutes away from the start of the count in the West Berkshire local elections.
10.00am After months of campaigning, canvassing and political arm wrestling, we are just an hour away from the count for the 52 West Berkshire Council seats.
9.37am The Conservatives currently have control of West Berkshire Council - they hold 39 seats compared to the Liberal Democrats' 13. Therefore the Lib Dems need another 14 seats to take control of the council.
9.34am Less than an hour and a half to go until the count for the West Berkshire Council elections.
9.24am A few facts for you ahead of the West Berkshire Council elections -
There are 52 West Berkshire Council seats all up for election, and the candidates standing comprise of 52 Conservative, 51 Liberal Democrat, 36 Labour, 11 Green, 6 UKIP, 3 Apolitical and 1 Patriotic Socialist.
The total electorate for the district is 117,201 and there were 23,131 postal votes applied for (19.7%).
The district is made up of 30 wards – of which 2 are three-member, 18 are two-member and 10 single-member.
Most of the wards are in the Newbury constituency – 21 of which. 6 are in Reading West – Pangbourne, Theale, Purley-On-Thames, Westwood, Calcot and Birch Copse, and 3 are in Wokingham – Mortimer, Sulhamstead, Burghfield.