Dave Goddard, chair of the Environment Commission(and, incidentally leader of Stockport Council)has held lost his seat in the latest local authority elections. Standing for re-election in Offerton ward, he was edged out by Labour’s Laura Booth (1346 votes) to his 1301. The Environment Commission, which next meets in July, will have to appoint a new chair.
In other news
Neil Swannick (formerly Executive Member for the Environment), Council Leader Richard Leese, Pat Karney (chair of Transport for Greater Manchester) and Andrew Fender were among the Labour stalwarts all re-elected by the expected narrow margins (cough cough).
The Liberal Democrats, now reduced to 8 councillors, are looking for a new group leader after Marc Ramsbottom (City Centre), who was interviewed by MCFly in January, was unable to hold on to his City Centre seat – Joan Davies winning convincingly. All the other Liberal Democrats standing lost their seats. The scale of the swings has in some cases (e.g. Rusholme) surprised even MCFly.
Manchester Green Party were focussing their efforts in two seats, Hulme and Levenshulme. In Hulme – a ward where the Greens had a councillor from 2003 to 2008 – Amina Lone (Labour) held the seat with 1301 votes, with Deyika Neribe of the Greens in second place (595). The Liberal Democrats were out-polled in this ward by the Conservatives, which is going to be a bit of a worry for them.
In Levenshulme Nasrin Ali(1722) won the seat for Labour. It had been held by Liberal Democrats (new candidate John Commons polled 955 votes. The Greens’ David Mottram Green got 674 votes.
So: In a 96 seat council, Labour now hold 88 seats, with the Liberal Democrats holding on to 8 seats, until 2014. [Update: apparently we did our math wrong - it's 87 to 9]. This doesn’t, in the opinion of this writer, really change the rules of the game as far as climate activism is concerned. Manchester has been a one-party-state, with the benefits and costs that this entails, for some time, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
More analysis in the coming days and weeks.
The numbers are taken from the MEN. http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/politics/local_elections/1_Manchester
UPDATE – Three Environment Commissioners who were all up for re-election as councillors were all re-elected (this does not automatically mean they will continue as Commissioners). Tony Isherwood (Labour, Bury) – outpolled his nearest rival by over 4 to 1
Linda Blackburn (Conservative Trafford) held of a Labour challenge in Davyhulme ward (1480 to 1295)
David Molyneux (Labour, Wigan) held onto his seat by a whisker (1790 votes to second places 300 or so)