Anything could have happened in last week’s local elections. With new wards, 19 less seats and an all out election, this would be a chance for the citizens of Birmingham to really make their votes count.
However, there were no real changes in the council house with Labour retaining control by securing 67 of the 101 seats up for grabs.
In South West Birmingham, though, there were some significant changes with some long-standing councillors losing out and some new, young faces achieving wins.
We take a look at the turnout, the results, the winners, the losers and the posers (you know who you are!)
The 16 wards across South West Birmingham which we covered during this election were on par with the rest of city for turnout as a whole with just under 32% of the electorate casting a vote.
The highest turnout was in Bournville and Cotteridge , with just over 40%, with Stirchley close behind with a 39.1% show.
The lowest turnouts in the area were in Bournbrook and Selly Park with 24.1% and Frankley Great Park with 24.9%
In the new Allens Cross ward in Northfield, a familiar face won back a place on the council, two years after losing out to Labour newcomer Julie Johnson. Local bus driver Eddie Freeman (Cons) won the seat with a majority of just 49 votes over Labour’s Steve Bedser. Full results
Labour’s Jo Shemmans and Paul Preston failed to unseat longstanding Bartley Green representatives John and Bruce Lines (Cons). The father and son team took well over half of the local vote. Full results
Bournbrook & Selly Park
No surprises in Bournbrook & Selly Park with a comfortable win by strong Labour Councillors Brigid Jones and Karen McCarthy keeping their places on the council, having previously served Selly Oak.
Conservative candidate Angus Gillan and the University of Birmingham Conservative team were still smiling – and #ToryPowerStance-ing! Full results
Bournville & Cotteridge
Weoley councillor of 18 years Peter Douglas Osborn (Cons) was ousted from local government, as was previous Bournville councillor Rob Sealey. The two seats were taken by serving Councillor Liz Clements and her Labour colleague Fred Grindrod. Full results
Liz said: “It’s a huge honour for me and Fred Grindrod to be elected to represent residents in Bournville and Cotteridge. Many, many thanks to our huge, enthusiastic team of volunteers who campaigned for our two Labour gains. Most of all, sincere thanks to the people of Bournville, Cotteridge and Masefield for voting for change, social justice and a better future for the many.”
Fred said: “I’m privileged to be elected as Councillor for Bournville and
Cotteridge. Liz and I will work hard for our community and ensure we
represent residents effectively on Birmingham City Council. We know from
talking to residents across the ward during the election campaign that
there is a lot to do and we’re eager to get started to help build strong
communities throughout our area.”
Peter said: “I am honoured to have been the Councillor for Weoley for 18 years, and cannot imagine a nicer area to have represented. It encompasses all the diverse nature of the City in a microcosm of two centres – Weoley Castle, and west Northfield.
“I have a great feeling of achievement from being involved in the regeneration of Northfield town centre, and the Square at Weoley Castle, but the greatest association I have with local pride is with the development of the facility on the Castle site, and all the consequent opportunity for the historic representation that has been offered on site. Perhaps the finest encouragement to local participation was when we were able to get the Birmingham Rep to organise a show there. I have one final wish – may it continue to flourish!”
Druids Heath & Monyhull
An historic day for the Green Party as they secured they their first ever seat on Birmingham City Council.
Julien Pritchard took Druids Heath and Monyhull with a 476 vote majority over closest rival Victoria Quinn (Lab), who lost her seat on the council. Full results
Julien said: “We listened to people’s concerns and tried to act on them to improve the area.
“It’s an area which has often been ignored and even neglected and I’ll be doing my best to try to change that.”
It was a comfortable win for existing Conservative councillors Deirdre Alden and Matt Bennett in Edgbaston. Full results
Deirdre said: “I’m delighted that Matt Bennett and I were re-elected to serve Edgbaston Ward for another four years and by a greatly increased majority. Very many thanks to everyone who voted for us and to our supporters for working so tirelessly to secure our re-election.”
Frankley Great Park
The vote was split in the new Frankley Great Park ward, with Andy Cartwright – Labour’s councillor for the old Longbridge ward – losing out to Conservative newcomer, Simon Morrall by 115 votes. Full results
Simon said: “I am incredibly humbled to be elected to represent the Frankley Great Park ward and offer my commiserations to Andrew Cartwright, who was very graceful during his defeat. I can quite honestly say I have never worked so hard in my life; I was selected as the candidate in March 2017 and over the course of 14 months I’ve walked over a million steps, spoken to over a thousand people and worn out six pairs of shoes.
“It’s this drive, tenacity, and attitude that made me a Conservative, and now I intend to continue this to bring genuine change to our community. Whether it’s getting our hedges cut, making sure our bins are collected, and cleaning up our streets, we have a lot of work to do and together, we will move Frankley Forward!”
Andy said: “I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve our community for 7 years. I kept my pledges and ensured the community became engaged and supported. Thank you to those who [messaged] me with your kind words. It’s been a pleasure. Very fond memories and pleased to have been able to help when people needed it. The community is different to when I became elected in a positive way. Carole Griffiths and I are thankful for your kind words and messages.”
A split vote in Harborne saw the two seats being taken by candidates from different political parties – Labour’s Jayne Francis and Peter Fowler for the Conservatives. Full results
Kings Norton North
A gain here for Labour, with 24 year old Alex Aitken ousting serving councillor Simon Jevon (Cons) to become the youngest serving member of Birmingham City Council. Full results
Alex said: “I’m really pleased to be elected as the new councillor for Kings Norton North, which is an area I grew up in and care deeply about.
“I can’t wait to get started and address the issues that were brought up on the campaign. I will always listen to you, and take action to resolve the issues that you have raised – you will always come first, and I will not let you down.”
Kings Norton South
Cabinet member for housing Peter Griffiths retained his place in the council chamber, with a majority of 172 over Conservative Barbara Wood, who was hoping for a return to local government after several years. Full results
Peter said: “I am of course delighted that the residents of Kings Norton South voted in such numbers for me and want me to continue working with them to bring positive changes to Kings Norton whilst also protecting the historical parts we need to keep!
“Can I also thank the many local residents who worked for a Labour win in the campaign generally and on Election day. Special mention too for social media and B31 Voices, who have commented fairly throughout, helping to encourage individuals to use their vote!”
Longbridge & West Heath
With two seats on offer in the newly formed Longbridge & West Heath ward, serving Northfield councillor Debbie Clancy took the first, with a majority of 249 over her nearest rival.
Northfield Councillor Brett o’Reilly also managed to hang on to his seat, although there was only a 14 vote gap between him and the second Conservative candidate, Graham Knight. Full results
Labour newcomer Olly Armstrong took the new single seat Northfield ward with a 374 vote majority over long-serving councillor Randal Brew. Full results
Olly recognised Randal’s service to the community and wished him well for the future. He said: “I’m delighted and humbled to have been chosen by the people of Northfield to represent them. I want to build on the positive energy of our campaign to support the area in any way I can, and to build something beautiful by, for and with the people of this wonderful area.”
However, Randal said he was not going away! He said: “I have been a Councillor in the area, Longbridge and then Northfield, and have thoroughly enjoyed my 22 years on the Council. I have always tried hard to do the best for the residents, not always successfully, and have made hundreds of friends, friendships that I hope will endure.
“In congratulating Olly Armstrong on his victory, I remind him he has a short 4 year lease on the seat, we want it back in 2022!”
Serving Labour Councillor Kate Booth and former city council leader John Clancy both retained their places in the two seat Quinton ward. Full results
Rubery Rednal ward, a section of the old Longbridge ward, lost its sitting councillor, Carole Griffiths (Labour). Conservative and local man, Adrian Delaney, won the seat with a majority of 263 votes. Full results
On losing her seat, Carole said: “I’ve enjoyed my two years as a Councillor and was proud to work along Andy Cartwright, who is truly a man of the people. We brought local jobs to the area cared and worked in the community and at Christmas ensured deprived families received Christmas dinners and the children attended parties and received presents.
“I would like to thank the people who voted for me and now look forward to having more time with my family. I’m very proud my Husband Peter Griffiths was successful in winning in Kings Norton South. He works hard.”
Serving the old Bournville ward previously, Cllr Mary Locke (Labour) took the seat in the new Stirchley ward.
Mary won with a massive majority of 1280 over the Conservative Candidate Owen Vaughan Williams, who secured just 576 votes. Full results
Mary said: “I am delighted to have been re elected in Stirchley. It is a great honour to serve my community again with an increased majority of 1280. I promise to work hard over the next four years for every Stirchley resident.
“And I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for voting me. I didn’t take winning for granted and no one thought the majority would be this big. I am overwhelmed. Thank you so much.”
Weoley & Selly Oak
Former serving Conservative councillors Des Flood (Bartley Green) and Andrew Hardie (Sutton Vesey) both lost out in the new Weoley and Selly Oak ward, where serving Labour councillors Julie Johnson (Weoley) and Tristan Chatfield (Oscott) were voted in. Full results
Cllr Johnson said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been re-elected for Weoley and with the boundary changes of course our Ward is now Weoley and Selly Oak. We have a great community and alongside Tristan, I’m looking forward to representing all of the Ward in the next 4 years.