Local elections: Tories hold off Lib Dem challenge to keep control of Brentwood Council

The Conservatives have held onto Brentwood Council but with a reduced minority.

After Thursday’s Brentwood Borough Council elections, the Conservatives held their position as the majority party despite losing two seats to the Lib Dems – Shenfield and Ingatestone, Fryerning and Mountnessing.

Of the 13 wards up for election the Conservatives won six seats, the Lib Dems won six seats and Labour won one.

Brentwood Borough Council had been electing a third of its members this year, and the last of the winning candidates were announced at around 1am.

Heading into the election the council had been made up of 23 Conservatives, 12 Liberal Democrats and two Labour.

The council is now made of 21 Conservative, 14 Liberal Democrats and two Labour.

Shenfield fell to the Lib Dems with a majority of 81 and Ingatestone fell to the Lib Dems with a majority of 354. However the Tories have also lost ground to other opposition parties in the seats they held and in the seats they were contesting.

In Brentwood North the Lib Dems increased their majority from 204 last year to 583 this year. While in Warley the Lib Dem’s majority increased from 21 to 620.

In Brizes and Doddinghurst the Tories saw their majority fall from 680 to 395. And in Hutton East, which was last up in 2019, the Tory majority fell from 244 to 122.

Even in solid Tory seats like Hutton South which encompases the Hutton Mount estate the majority fell from 700 in 2021 to 401 this year.

Council leader Councillor Chris Hossack admitted the result at the polls was in part a reaction to frustrations over lockdown parties in Downing Street – a message he had been hearing on the doorstep.

He said: “It was mixed. A number of people were happy to support us and a number of people were seeing the whole partygate thing had been over played and got that.

“And other people had felt let down by the partygate and what they felt was dishonesty and lawmakers breaking their own laws and that was definitely a protest vote tonight.

“I don’t think it was overwhelming. If it was overwhelming we wouldn’t have lost just two seats and frankly one of the seats we didn’t lose by a huge majority.

“That definitely played a factor. There were a lot of protest votes. People were upset and I get it why people are upset. And my conversation on the doorstep was we are trying to do what we do for Brentwood as local Conservatives. What Boris Johnson does in Downing Street is totally out of my control.”

The Conservatives have been in control of the council since 2004 except for one year in 2014/2015 when there was no overall control.

Here is the full breakdown of how people voted in each of their wards

Brentwood North (Lib Dem HOLD)

  • Adam Chinnery (Cons) 357
  • Oliver Durose (Lab) 183
  • John Hamilton (Green) 134
  • Philip Mynott (Lib Dems) 940
  • Robert Prince (Reform) 31

Turnout: 30.26%

Brentwood South (Lab HOLD)

  • Gareth Barrett (Lab) 811
  • Gary MacDonnell (Lib Dems) 247
  • Jay Patel (Cons) 433

Turnout: 31.94%

Brentwood West (Lib Dem HOLD)

  • Karen Lyon-Brown (Cons) 448
  • Richard Millwood (Lab) 225
  • Dominic Naylor (Lib Dems) 1,041

Turnout: 30.47%

Brizes & Doddinghurst (Cons HOLD)

  • Kevin Brailey (Lab) 136
  • Hugh Gorton (Lib Dems) 485
  • Keith Parker (Cons) 880

Turnout: 31.94%

Herongate, Ingrave & West Horndon (Cons HOLD)

  • Anne Long (Liberal Dems) 148
  • Sheila Murphy (Cons) 613
  • Jane Winter (Lab) 129

Turnout: 29.01%

Hutton Central (Cons HOLD)

  • Laura Carey (Lib Dems )235
  • Philip Holland (Lab) 156
  • Melissa Slade (Cons) 573

Turnout: 32.35%

Hutton East (Cons HOLD)

  • Arthur Leathley (Liberal Dems) 320
  • Liam Preston (Lab) 45
  • Olivia Sanders (Cons) 442

Turnout: 27.12%

Hutton South (Cons HOLD)

  • Alexander Carter (Lib Dems) 215
  • Deborah Foster (Lab) 150
  • Roger Hirst (Cons) 616

Turnout: 33.57%

Ingatestone, Fryerning & Mountnessing (Lib Dem GAIN from Cons)

  • Jon Cloke (Cons) 744
  • Joanna Moncrieff (Lab) 114
  • Darryl Sankey (Lib Dems) 1,098

Turnout: 39.08%

Pilgrims Hatch (Lib Dem HOLD)

  • Barry Aspinell (Lib Dems) 985
  • Gordon Cowley (Cons) 305
  • June Simmons (Lab) 34

Turnout: 31.34%

Shenfield (Lib Dem GAIN from Cons)

  • Nicola Cuthbert (Lib Dems) 879
  • Elizabeth Jerrard (Lab) 90
  • Anne Milward (Green) 80
  • Jan Pound (Cons) 798

Turnout: 43.72%

South Weald (Cons HOLD)

  • Francisca Dapp (Lab) 38
  • Tom Mclaren (Cons) 314
  • Brenner Munden (Lib Dems) 289

Turnout: 42.7%

Warley (Lib Dem HOLD)

  • Mark Haigh (Lib Dems) 1,016
  • Gregory Ince (Green) 72
  • Susan Kortlandt (Lab) 156
  • Roger McCheyne (Cons) 396

Turnout: 33.54%

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter