Preston has given a ringing endorsement to The Preston Model proposed by Labour.Advertisement
The party increased its share of councillors and has a majority of 12 after the all-out Preston City Council election.
Councillor Matthew Brown led his party to victory and they continued their in-roads into previously Tory held seats, taking a clean sweep in Garrison ward.
Preston voted in blocks, with all of the 16 wards falling to all-party blocks of three candidates.
Read more: See ward-by-ward results for Preston local elections
The Lib Dems, resurgent nationally, also saw their fortunes turn and the ward boundary changes benefit them picking up Greyfriars ward, Ingol and Cottam and Cadley. They are now the joint second-largest party in the city with the Conservatives.
The boundary changes saw the total number of councillors in the city reduced by nine, from 57 to 48.
Preston’s Conservatives saw their number of councillors fall from 15 to nine, in a torrid day of election results in the city and reflecting a nationwide picture as the country sent a message to Theresa May’s government.
But apathy was once again the big winner, turnout was just above the 30 per cent mark.
Read more: Recap all the updates from Friday’s local election count and results in Preston
Council leader councillor Matthew Brown said: “I’m obviously delighted that we’ve done so well and also it is good to see we have so many young councillors coming through.
“There’s been a bit of changing of the guard in recent years and the make up of the party and councillors has changed.
“With Brexit, the ward boundaries and everything then to see our majority kept is great.
“What’s important now is we can use this and get policies in place to ensure the city continues the momentum we’ve built up.
“Schemes like the Markets and Cinema developments need to progress, and we also need to expand initiatives like the Holiday Hunger markets which have been well-received and successful.”
“But it is disappointing to see people not engaged with politics in terms of the turnout. That’s something we all have to tackle.”
Read more: Labour outline their local election pledges for Preston
Former leader of Lancashire County Council, Jennifer Mein, also became a city councillor for Labour in Lea and Larches.
She said: “I am a county councillor representing Preston south east. I’ve just been elected to Preston city council to represent Lea and Larches Ward.
“To my ward, I hope to help as many people as possible. Obviously, we’ve spoken to hundreds, in fact thousands of people over the campaign.
“I’ve made sure everyone knows I’m there to work. I’m there to help them as much as I can with whatever I can.
“I’ve got a lot of experience from county council so if I can’t help, I’ll know someone that can.”
Additional reporting by Jack Dinsley