The district elections are behind us. I won’t pretend it wasn’t a bad night for my party.

Our losses were higher than expected, as were Labour’s gains. But in a trend-defying night here in Wyre Forest, the district council went back to Conservative control. With all 33 seats being contested, my party went from 14 councillors to 20, ending the 4 years of the so-called rainbow coalition of the Progressive Alliance.

It's not easy to put a finger on what is different here. Certainly, there have been some odd recent decisions, such as the inappropriate attempt to site a homeless centre in the heart of Stourport, miles away from the services homeless need. Similarly, I’ve worked with the district council to secure nearly £40 million in Town Centre, and Levelling Up funding, only to see it lie unspent. Most of Kidderminster’s improvements are yet to be started. But across the country, while Conservatives lost 50 of the 83 councils held, we won just two. Torbay with a gain of just 4 councillors, and Wyre Forest with a gain of 6.

It is a huge vote of confidence in my colleagues on the council and I have every confidence that they will make a good job of the challenge. I am keen to see the money given to our district spent on the projects we asked for.

But I do want to say that irrespective of party allegiance, I am incredibly grateful to those who put themselves forward for election. Politics, in the world of social media, is not easy, yet we need hardworking people to work for our communities. Without a healthy slate of candidates, we would have a very poor democracy.

In other areas of community activism, we’ve had some terrific news. The team at the Stop the Quarry campaign – working to stop the creation of the Lea Castle quarry – have received the brilliant news that the appeal against the earlier decision by Worcestershire County Council to block the quarry has been dismissed. The only way that the quarry can now be started is through, I understand, the supreme court.

I have played just a small part in this, and it is a tribute to all the campaigners who have got this result. It was always a crazy idea to dig the quarry so close to schools and villages, and the inspector agrees. The team deserve a hearty congratulation.