- Posted by: Canterbury Labour
- Category: News
Labour has doubled its seats on Canterbury City Council winning 18 seats in the 2023 Local Election. The new Labour Group is the largest the party has had since 1974 and includes new councillors from Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and the Villages.
The Conservative administration, who ran on a slogan of ‘doing the basics brilliantly’ lost 10 seats, resigning them to the third largest party behind the Liberal Democrats and all but wiping them out across both Whitstable and Herne Bay. The former Leader of the Council, Ben Fitter Harding was forced into fourth in the election results for his Chestfield ward and the party no longer have a council seat in any part of the Canterbury Parliamentary Constituency.
Most surprising results including Labour picking up two seats in Sturry with a 24% swing from Conservative to Labour. We are also pleased to welcome Councillor Tom Mellish as our first Herne Bay councillor in almost twenty years. Tom won with a 16.8% swing away from the Tories and his two running mates (Fred Peace & Emma Wright) were very unlucky not to get in.
In the villages we won two seats in Chartham, geographically the largest ward in the district. We sadly lost one of our Whitstable councillors (Valerie Kenny) in Gorrell but picked up seats in Tankerton and two in Seasalter where the Independent Serve to Lead group split the Conservative vote. New councillor Charlotte Cornell beat incumbent Ashley Clarke by drawing lots after a tied vote – the first time that an election has been decided locally in such a manner since 1971.
With these results Labour look set to form a council administration under the leader of Cllr Alan Baldock.
Speaking after the final results came through, Labour group leader, and probable next leader of the council Alan Baldock said: “We’ve certainly exceeded our expectations. We are humbled by the trust that the residents have put in us and we won’t let them down.We promised you a greener, fairer, better Canterbury district and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”