THE Conservatives have claimed the vacant seat on Wyre Forest District Council following today’s by-election.

Candidate Tracey Onslow returns to the council and will represent Blakebrook and Habberley South ward in Kidderminster for the Tories after winning the seat with a majority of 343.

She polled 595 votes with UKIP hopeful Michael Wrench coming second with 252. Labour party's Bernadette Connor came in a close third with 247 votes, the Green Party’s Natalie McVey secured 173, pushing Health Concern candidate Jim Lawson into fifth with 167 votes. The Liberal Democrat Adrian Beavis got 54 votes.

This result means the Tories once again have 23 of the 33 council seats in the district.

Council and Conservative group leader Councillor Marcus Hart said: "I am absolutely delighted that Tracey is back on the council. She was an excellent before and she will make a real contribution to the council."

Councillor Onslow said: "I am thrilled to have been given such a resounding endorsement and I would like to thank the voters of Blakebrook and Habberley South for placing their trust in me."

Councillor Hart added: "The Conservatives will continue to work for all of the residents of the Wyre Forest".

Turnout for the poll was 21.6 per cent with around 70 per cent of those casting their votes by post.

The by-election for the ward was called after former Conservative councillor Ruth Gregory stepped down last month due to ill health - just three months after winning the seat.