The 2003 Redditch Borough Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of Redditch Borough Council in the West Midlands region, England. One third of the council was up for election and the council stayed under no overall control.[1]

After the election, the composition of the council was:

Campaign

The Conservative Party was hoping to gain control over the council, which before the election was controlled by Labour with the support of the Liberal Democrats.[3] 10 seats were being contested with the Labour party defending 6 of the seats.[4] Labour needed to gain one seat to regain their majority, while the Conservatives needed 3 gains to also win a majority.[5] The key wards targeted by the Conservatives were Central, Greenlands and Lodge Park.[5]

The Conservatives were hoping to gain from voters who were unhappy over council tax rises and they pledged to only increase it by the inflation rate over the next three years if they won control.[3] Meanwhile, Labour pledged to use new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour and said they were making a difference in the town.[3][4] Other issues raised in the election included an Audit Commission report on the housing department and the poor use of tourist attractions in the borough.[4]

Election result

The results saw the Labour party lose four seats, two each to the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.[6] The Liberal Democrats gained in Church Hill and Winyates, while the Conservatives gained Central and Greenlands.[6] Among the Labour losses was the wife of the Labour leader, Helen Cartwright, and the planning committee chairman, Clive Cheetham.[6] The new Conservative councillor from Central ward, Mohammed Farooqui, became the youngest member of the council at the age of 24.[6]

As a result, the Conservatives became the largest party on the council with 14 seats.[6] They had only just missed winning a majority on the council after failing to gain Lodge Park by 64 votes.[6]

Redditch Local Election Result 2003[7]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 4 2 0 +2 40.0 38.1 5,736 -4.5%
  Labour 3 0 4 -4 30.0 36.5 5,496 +3.5%
  Liberal Democrats 3 2 0 +2 30.0 25.4 3,821 +2.2%

Ward results

Abbey[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Nigel Hicks 787 71.0 +7.3
Labour Alan Mason 322 29.0 +6.7
Majority 465 42.0 +0.6
Turnout 1,109 27.5
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Batchley[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Dorothy Dudley 630 46.5 -5.5
Conservative Peter Anderson 486 35.9 +1.6
Liberal Democrats Kathleen Cummings 238 17.6 +4.0
Majority 144 10.6 -7.1
Turnout 1,354 23.0
Labour hold Swing
Central[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Mohammed Farooqui 735 43.8 -3.3
Labour Ronald Passingham 642 38.3 -1.7
Liberal Democrats Robert Hanna 301 17.9 +4.9
Majority 93 5.5 -1.6
Turnout 1,678 31.9
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
Church Hill[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats David Gee 668 46.4
Labour David Hunt 594 41.3
Conservative Richard Lumley 177 12.3
Majority 74 5.1
Turnout 1,439 28.5
Liberal Democrats gain from Labour Swing
Crabbs Cross[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Field 814 55.3 +4.8
Labour Gareth Young 465 31.6 -5.7
Liberal Democrats Graham Pollard 193 13.1 +0.8
Majority 349 23.7 +10.5
Turnout 1,472 26.2
Conservative hold Swing
Greenlands[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Michael Braley 737 43.4 +0.8
Labour Helen Cartwright 668 39.3 -4.5
Liberal Democrats Anthony Pitt 294 17.3 +3.7
Majority 69 4.1
Turnout 1,699 26.9
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
Lodge Park[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Mark Shurmer 682 46.6 +11.0
Conservative Jean Smith 619 42.3 +8.4
Liberal Democrats Ian Webster 163 11.1 -3.9
Majority 63 4.3 +2.6
Turnout 1,464 29.7
Labour hold Swing
Matchborough[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gordon Kenney 842 53.6 +2.8
Labour Roy Vickers 451 28.7 -4.7
Liberal Democrats Christopher Hennessey 278 17.7 +1.9
Majority 391 24.9 +7.5
Turnout 1,571 25.3
Conservative hold Swing
West[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patricia Wilson 1,208 62.1
Labour Patricia Witherspoon 430 22.1
Liberal Democrats Michael Ashall 307 15.8
Majority 778 40.0
Turnout 1,945 30.8
Conservative hold Swing
Winyates[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats John Stanley 592 44.8 -6.9
Labour Clive Cheetham 519 39.3 +0.9
Conservative Juliet Brunner 211 16.0 +6.1
Majority 73 5.5 -7.8
Turnout 1,322 27.8
Liberal Democrats gain from Labour Swing

References

  1. ^ "Redditch". BBC News Online. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Election Results". The Times. 2 May 2003. p. 17.
  3. ^ a b c "Worcestershire council nominations: Tories threaten to oust Labour ; Redditch". Birmingham Mail. 8 April 2003. p. 13.
  4. ^ a b c Docherty, Campbell (1 May 2003). "New Town is nearly 40 years old and in need of a new lease of life ; In last year's local elections Redditch Borough Council slipped from overall Labour control for the first time in 20 years. Campbell Docherty looks ahead to this year's poll". Birmingham Post. p. 4.
  5. ^ a b Probert, Andy (2 May 2003). "Election 2003: Political control rests on knife-edge ; Redditch". Birmingham Post. p. 3.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Local elections 2003: Tories in 64 vote despair ; Redditch". Birmingham Mail. 2 May 2003. p. 11.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Redditch Borough Council: Borough Council election" (PDF). Political Science Resources. Retrieved 26 July 2009.