New independent councillors in Bromley

The blue boat rocked a little but Conservatives maintained majority in Bromley local elections 

Blue Bromley was caught off-guard as Labour, the Lib Dems and Independents all gained seats across the borough. 

At the end of play the Conservatives retained their majority with 36 seats but Labour gained four seats, pushing their total to 12, and the Liberal Democrats and Independents won 5 seats respectively. 

Contrast this with 2018 when the Tories won 50 out of the 60 seats on offer in Bromley and it has clearly left a bruise on the blue stronghold.

Conservative MP for Bromley Sir Bob Neill believes the election results across the capital sent a clear message to the party’s leadership and there was a lot of work to do ahead of the general elections. 

He added: “I hope the PM will be reflecting that we can’t take people’s goodwill for granted.

“Trust has to be earned and trust can be easily lost, so we have to work hard between now and the general election to make sure that we secure that trust.”

It emerged early on at the Bromley count that voter turnout was low across most wards, particularly for the Conservatives who took it as a sign of criticism over partygate and the cost of living crisis.

Labour Leader for Bromley, Angela Wilkins said: “We met so many people door-stepping who are just fed up with Boris’s lack of integrity and the absence of the truth.”

In Chislehurst, Conservative Katy Boughey received 3,094 votes in 2018 but this year only gained 1509 votes.

Happy to sweep up the lost Tory ballots, independent party Chislehurst Matters won all three seats in the ward.

Their new councillor Allison Stammers said: “This result is remarkable and we are thrilled.”

Elsewhere Labour found success, snagging the win in Plaistow from the Tories by less than 200 votes and giving them control of the ward for the first time in history.

Labour’s Tony McPartlan said: “We’ve knocked on every door in the ward.”

He said electorates felt their councillors were not addressing local issues and he hopes to give residents more of a voice now elected. 

NOT SO BLUE BROMLEY: Victorious Labour councillors give a speech

The Conservatives did manage to retain control of Orpington despite the recent redevelopment proposal to build 990 high-rise flats provoking hundreds to protest earlier this year.

Winning councillor Kim Davina Botting said if the development does go ahead: “We will get it right for the people of Orpington.” 

Bickley also remained under conservative control but council leader Colin Smith noted the disappointing result across the borough at the declaration. 

He said: “Today’s result in Bickley is tinged with an element of regret, it must be said. 

“We’ve lost some outstanding councillors around parts of the ward.

“Nothing can be done about that now, we move forward with our big programme over the next four years and it starts today.”

Also worth watching were Bromley Town, which the Liberal Democrats took from the Conservatives, and after election boundaries were changed along the River Cray, the Conservatives lost two out of three seats to Labour on St Pauls Cray.

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