CONSERVATIVES have seized total control of Wyre Forest District Council after claiming more than 20 seats in the local election.

The Tories led by Cllr Marcus Hart secured 21 of the 30 seats to be declared at the count this afternoon, meaning they are now the majority party - resulting in the end of their coalition with the Liberal and Independent Group.

Labour and Health Concern were left with just two seats apiece, while UKIP suffered a huge disappointment with only one candidate, Steve Harrington, successful.

Three Independents also claimed the seats in the Aggborough and Spennells ward while Liberal Party stalwart Fran Oborski was also voted back on to the authority.

Notable casualties who lost out included Wyre UKIP leader Michael Wrench and Stourport Mayor and Health Concern councillor Cliff Brewer.

A Boundary Commission review meant major changes for Wyre Forest this year, most notably the reduction in the number of councillors from 42 to 33.

The number of wards across the district has also been slashed from 17 to 12 while a host of venues that traditionally acted as polling stations will no longer be used because of the boundary changes.

As a result of the review, an "all out" election was held with every single one of the 33 seats up for grabs.

Councillor Hart said he was "absolutely delighted" with the results of today's local election.

He said: "To get 21 of the 30 seats declared today is phenomenal and, even if we don't claim any of the three remaining seats to be contested, we have the overall majority.

"But, while we have control of the council as the majority party, I still intend to work closely with all other parties and continue to engage with them as I have always tried to do. I congratulate each of them on their success in this election."

However, opposition candidates raised concerns about the effect of the Boundary Commission changes on this year's election.

Wyre Forest Labour group leader Jamie Shaw, Cliff Brewer and Michael Wrench all said huge queues at some polling stations put dozens of people off from casting their votes.

Cllr Shaw added: "The decision to close some of some polling stations for this election has been a big mistake. I will be calling for an urgent review and action to be taken about this."

The election for the remaining three seats in Areley Kings and Riverside will be held next month. It was postponed following the death of Health Concern chairman Nigel Thomas.

To see all the results from today's Wyre Forest District Council election, please visit here.