CONSERVATIVES have strengthened their control of Wyre Forest District Council after claiming two more seats on the authority.

Candidates Ken and Lin Henderson polled 662 and 564 votes respectively in the postponed election for the Areley Kings and Riverside ward, held on Tuesday June 9.

Wyre Forest Labour group leader Jamie Shaw was also re-elected to the council after securing 633 votes. The turnout for this poll was 27.04 per cent.

Labour candidate Vi Higgs, who is a former Mayor of Stourport, narrowly lost out on a seat after polling 561 votes - three short of Lin Henderson’s winning total. This had prompted a recount on the night.

It was a bad night for Health Concern as the result means they no longer have any district council members representing Stourport for the first time in more than a decade.

Councillor Shaw was also re-elected in the Stourport town council poll for Areley Kings East with 344 votes, alongside Labour colleagues Vi Higgs and Robert Lloyd, who gained 321 and 305 votes respectively. The turnout for the town council election was 25.85 per cent.

This result means the political balance in Wyre Forest now sees the Tories holding 23 seats, four Independent and Liberal councillors, three Labour, two Health Concern and one UKIP.

The Areley Kings and Riverside and Areley Kings East elections were postponed following the sad death of Health Concern chairman Nigel Thomas, who was standing as a candidate in both polls.

Wyre Forest District Council leader Marcus Hart said he was delighted with the result, which built on their landslide success on May 7.

He said: “I am very pleased that all 33 seats have now been decided and the fact that we now 23 of those – representing two-thirds of the authority – is fantastic news.

“In recent times, Areley Kings and Riverside has not been a strong Conservative area so it is a great success for us.

“This strengths our position and gives us an overwhelming mandate to serve the people of Wyre Forest.

“I am particularly delighted for Ken and Lin, who have previously served on Stourport Town Council.

“You could say we are keeping it in the family as Ken and Lin are husband and wife and they join the sister and brother and two father and son teams we already have on the council.