Labour loses overall majority on town council following by-elections

UKIP councillor Richard Elvin.
UKIP councillor Richard Elvin.

Labour has lost its overall majority on a Wearside town council for the first time in its 43-year history.

Two by-elections took place on Thursday for Hetton Town Council, with Independent Susan Waterston elected to the Hetton Le Hole ward while Jack Cunningham of Labour and Independent Christine Willis were elected to the Hetton Downs ward.

Hetton Town Council leader Councillor Bob Heron.

Hetton Town Council leader Councillor Bob Heron.

There are now 10 Labour councillors across the four wards on the town council, six from UKIP and five Independent councillors.

UKIP councillor Richard Elvin said: “We are delighted with the result because it means we have a majority now when we go along with the Independents.

“We have been frustrated in our attempts to do things which we believe will benefit the town.

“Labour seem to be stuck in the Dark Ages and we have not been able to do anything to improve the area and as a town council we think we should be there to do that for the constituents.

“We will now be working with the independents to achieve that goal and give the constituents some value for money.”

Hetton Town Council leader Bob Heron, of Labour, said: “We are still the biggest party with 10 members and at the present time, unless UKIP and the Independents form a coalition we will remain the biggest party.

“We will continue to run the council for the benefit of the people of Hetton until any changes are made.

“The other side of the coin to this is that UKIP have not stood for any of the last four seats on the town council.

“We will now have to see what happens.”