INDEPENDENT Community and Health Concern's leader says the party is "back" after a good night in Wyre Forest District Council's elections.

ICHC won five seats, gaining three. The results meant the Conservatives lost overall control of the district council, holding four of the eight seats they were defending.

Labour made a gain of one, winning three seats and the Liberal party and Independent Helen Dyke both held on to their seats.

It means the district council's 42 seats are now Conservative, 20, Labour, eight, ICHC, eight, Liberal, four and Independent two.

ICHC leader Nigel Thomas said: "What a night. I forecast this time last year we would be back and I made a new year's resolution we would end up with more seats than we had."

The party's parliamentary spokesman Graham Ballinger, who was re-elected in his Greenhill ward, added: "It is an outstanding evening. Wyre Forest people recognised it was time for a change.

"ICHC is far from dead in the water, we are reinvigorated and the public desperately wants to hear from us again."

Conservative John Campion said his party was still the largest in the district.

He said: "We have defended four of our seats. We are still the most popular party and Labour has lost their position as the single second largest.

"Voters are saying they have concerns about the coalition government but they do not have faith in Labour either. This says we need to do better at getting our message across."

Labour parliamentary spokesman Howard Martin said he was pleased with his party's gain.

"We lost one seat but gained one," he said. "That was always a possibility but if you look at our overall vote, it has gone up considerably.

"ICHC have done so well because it is the third party protest vote. The Tories are unpopular nationally and we are still re-establishing ourselves as a force.

"We only lost by five votes in Oldington and Foley Park [where Conservative Nathan Desmond defended his seat]. If six more people had turned out for us, we would have won that."

The night saw three of the five-strong district council cabinet going into the night defend their seats.

Conservatives Julian Phillips, Bewdley and Arley, Marcus Hart, Sutton Park and Nathan Desmond were re-elected.

The council's longest serving member Liberal Fran Oborski successfully defended her Offmore and Comberton seat taking her run to 39 years.

Labour's Nigel Knowles gained the seat in Franche ward where former-Kidderminster Mayor Conservative Jeffrey Baker had announced he would not seek re-election.

For the full run down of results see The Shuttle's "Local Elections Live" tab.