The Conservatives have been ousted from power on Warwick District Council after an day of shock results that included council leader Andrew Mobbs losing his seat along with Labour group leader Kristie Naimo.
In contrast there were gains for the Lib Dems and the Greens who will now have a chance to shape policies going forward as part of a rainbow coalition as no party has overall control.
The Whitnash Residents Association retained their three seats meaning a number of options and alliances need to be considered ahead of the annual meeting on May 15. The Conservatives lost 11 seats and now have 16 while Labour lost four to take their tally to five. The Lib Dems are now the second largest party with nine while the Greens have eight - each of them increasing by seven. Chief executive of the council Chris Elliot explained the process that must take place prior to the annual meeting in less than two weeks. “All five groups have to decide how the council is going to be managed,” he explained. “My job will be to give them advice about the options and explain what they can and can’t do. “Normally the leader of the council is elected at the annual meeting and the leader decides who sits on the executive board so the parties will need to decide who, what and how. “In order for a majority to be exercised there needs to get to 23 as there are 44 councillors so it’s all about what combination gets to that. In theory it could work on 22 and 22 but that would place great significance on the casting vote of the chairman. I think the term people are using is ‘interesting times’.” Andrew Mobbs fell victim to a ‘Greenwash’ in the Kenilworth Park Hill ward where fellow Tories Dave Shilton and Felicity Bunker were also unseated by the trio of Alix Dearing, John Dearing and Alistair Kennedy. Kenilworth St John’s also produced a seismic shift away from the Conservatives as the Liberal Democrat trio of Kate Dickson, Richard Dickson and Andrew Milton swept to power. The Greens were also successful in Leamington Brunswick where Cllr Naimo was one of those to lose out. Ian Davison retained his seat there and he will be joined by fellow Greens Amy Evans and Naveen Tangri. The Tories did take all three seats in Kenilworth Abbey and Arden while Labour had a full house with all three councillors returned in Leamington Clarendon.