Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 16:11 UK

Conservative control for Nuneaton

Marcus Jones
Nuneaton council leader Marcus Jones said national issues had an impact

The Conservatives have taken control of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council for the first time in the Warwickshire authority's 34-year history.

However, the party lost one seat to Labour at Coventry to send the local authority back to being a hung council.

In Stratford-on-Avon there was no change. The Tories held control of the council despite losing five seats.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have held Rugby Borough Council, gaining one extra seat.

At Nuneaton and Bedworth, half of the council's seats had been up for election.

'National problems'

Two of the Labour councillors were replaced by British National Party (BNP) candidates.

The new council is made up of 18 Tory, 14 Labour and two BNP councillors.

Previously, Labour had held 20 seats while the Tories had 14.

The authority's new leader, Marcus Jones, said he believed his party's win was down to problems with the government nationally.

He said: "There are a number of people who are very very dissatisfied nationally.

"People are getting to the stage where they can't take any more financially and it's obviously having a real impact on the government."

'Quite shocked'

Dennis Harvey, the former Nuneaton and Bedworth council leader and now opposition leader, agreed problems with his party nationally had had an impact on the local results.

He said: "I've been leader here 22 years but we've got some of the highest satisfaction rates in the country. We've just been judged as a good council by the Audit Commission and we've kept the council tax extremely low during the last three years.

"I think people will be quite shocked at the result this morning.

"Nuneaton and Bedworth is a popular council, but people vote on national issues, and more so this time than any other."

The Conservatives had run Coventry City Council for the last two years.

The new council will be made up of 27 Tory, 24 Labour, two Socialist and one Liberal Democrat councillors.

In Rugby, the Lib Dems lost a seat to the Tories. The Conservatives now have 28 seats, Labour 11 and the Lib Dems nine.

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ENGLAND AND WALES RESULTS
  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.


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