Labour maintains control of Wakefield Council (and hints of a new party leader)

Newspaper: Express & Reporter Series.'Story: 2015 Local election count, Thornes Park Stadium, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.'Ryan Case (Labour) takes the Wakefield West seat.'Photo Date: 08/05/15'Photo Ref: AB027e0515

Newspaper: Express & Reporter Series.'Story: 2015 Local election count, Thornes Park Stadium, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.'Ryan Case (Labour) takes the Wakefield West seat.'Photo Date: 08/05/15'Photo Ref: AB027e0515

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Labour has maintained its control of Wakefield Council.

The overall turn-out for the local election was 57.6 per cent compared to 30.17 per cent in 2014.

Newspaper: Express & Reporter Series.'Story: 2015 Local election count, Thornes Park Stadium, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.'Jo Hepworth (Labour) during her winning speach.'Photo Date: 08/05/15'Photo Ref: AB027d0515

Newspaper: Express & Reporter Series.'Story: 2015 Local election count, Thornes Park Stadium, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.'Jo Hepworth (Labour) during her winning speach.'Photo Date: 08/05/15'Photo Ref: AB027d0515

There were 21 out of the 63 council seats up for election.

Labour held 16 of the 17 seats they were defending.

The Tories held three of its four seats and gained a seat from Labour.

It means the make-up of the council remains same with Labour holding 54 seats, Conservatives six, UKIP two and one independent.

Labour’s Ryan Case took the Wakefield West seat from the Conservatives with a majority of more than 800 votes.

He replaces Bill Sanders who is retiring.

Coun Case said: “It’s not been the best result we’ve ever had nationally but my task now is to support the people of Wakefield West.

“I think we also have to accept the fact that UKIP put up a good fight but I will be sure to help the people in my ward with whatever issues they have.”

Labour candidate Jo Hepworth, 25, ensured Labour held the Altofts and Whitwood seat,

She said: “I have always been interested in politics. It affects everybody’s lives even if you don’t think it does. From emptying bins to big decisions on the NHS everything is affected by it.

“I am looking forward to working with community groups in Altofts and Whitwood to revolutionise the area.”

In the Conservative’s only gain, Margaret Holwell was elected for the Horbury and South Ossett seat.

She beat Labour’s Roy Bickerton by just 45 votes following a recount.

Coun Holwell said: “I was confident that I was ahead but it was very close. I am really pleased with the result because I think it’s very important because we need the Conservatives to have a stronger voice on the council.”

Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said he was disappointed with the General Election result.

But he said he hoped Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper would become the new Labour leader following the resignation of Ed Miliband.

Coun Box said: “Ed Miliband has been a great leader and I have a lot of respect for him having worked with him to achieve devolution for our areas.

“I am very sorry that Ed resigned but we now need to find a new leader and I believe Yvette has spoken to her friends and family to see if she wants to stand.

“I hope she does because I think she will make an excellent leader and an excellent Prime Minister come 2020.”