Local Election Update from Beverley
I am delighted that across the West Midlands we have held 30 Council seats and gained one new seat in these recent, very toughly contested Council elections. We fielded over 200 candidates in the region and it is great to see that nationally we gained 75 seats - a tremendously positive outcome and only two seats behind Labour Party gains.
As Liberal Democrats nationally we have continued to champion our 'Exit from Brexit' message; however the West Midlands voted Leave as a region in the Referendum and especially in the Metropolitan areas that have just cast their votes.
In spite of this it's great to see that hard work has paid off with the electorate supporting and reinstating Councillors across the patch -- in Rugby (9 LDs) Birmingham (8 LDs), Solihull (4 LDs) , Newcastle Under Lyme (3 LDs), Wyre Forest (3 LDs), Walsall (2 LDs), Daventry (1 LD), Cannock Chase (1 LD).
The results have seen 31 Councillors returned in the region's Metropolitan Council seats and this is surely a good base to start building from for the future. As we look ahead to elections in the more rural areas next year we must use the information and insights from all our Councillors and activists across the patch to gain momentum and build greater dialogue with our constituents and residents.
I'm sure you'll join me in congratulating our longest serving Councillors who have given such valued service over the years. I'd like to highlight in particular -- Cllr Paul Tilsley CBE who has served 50 years on Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Shires in Walsall (40 years and counting...!) and Cllr Fran Oborski whose work in Wyre Forest has led to a notable gain for our region. Well done to all our Councillors who have come through successfully in these elections and to all their supporters and hard working teams.
Thank you all. We must keep building from here and move forward again to 2019 with a strong and positive pace if we are to defend our Liberal values. Promoting local investment into our local communities and a stronger regional inclusive approach remains a priority. Over £34bn of the public's money is spent each year in the West Midlands Combined Authority region alone. By promoting a circular economy - one where we encourage local investment, purchase locally produced goods where possible, we can in turn use the public's money to drive more local jobs for local people.
Chair, West Midlands Liberal Democrats