THE Tories have retained control of Wyre Forest District Council, winning one seat in the elections so they now have 24 seats, while Labour has become the largest single opposition group, gaining two seats to take their total to six.

Independent Community and Health Concern (ICHC) meanwhile lost three seats, reducing their number of councillors to four.

Pete Dyke who quit the Liberal Democrat Party along with his wife Helen to form the two-strong Independent Group, retained his seat in Aggborough and Spennells.

Leader of the council, Conservative John Campion said: "We have shown here that we have made a gain. We have seen solid endorsement of our local policies which are local people working on local issues.

"The other big story is the opposition changing hands. ICHC slide now into virtual obscurity and the Labour Party is becoming the opposition."

He added: "It's a time for politics to be over for another year and to work with the people who elected us."

He said he was ecstatic with the party's performance and was proud to have conducted a positive campaign.

ICHC's leader, Nigel Thomas said he was "quite disappointed" with the result.

"I think we slipped up as we didn't envisage the Labour Party coming back so strong. They have taken some of our votes and we have lost out to the Conservatives."

He added: "We will be back. We have re-trenched since we lost Richard Taylor as MP. We still fielded 12 district councillors and 13 town councillors.

"You will sill hear a lot more from us."