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Labour loses Reading

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Labour has lost control of Reading BC in the 1 May 2008 local elections.

The council, which has been under Labour control for 22 years, is now hung with Labour after the party lost five seats. Council leader David Sutton (Lab) was among those to be given the boot, while the Tories gained four seats.

The council’s political makeup now sees Labour with 20 councillors, the Tories with 18 and the Liberal Democrats with eight - a gain of one seat.

The good result for the Conservatives in Reading was mirrored across the rest of the south-east and east of England barring Slough BC which Labour wrested from no overall control.

Basingstoke & Deane DC , Elmbridge BC , Maidstone BCs , Southampton City Council and Harlow DC have all opted for Tory administrations, having previously been under no overall control. David Cameron’s party also held Winchester City Council .

Tory Colchester loss 'scant consolation'

On what is proving to be a disastrous election for Labour, the Conservatives loss of Colchester DC offered scant consolation. The Essex council is now under no overall control.

Labour has also recorded substantial seat loses across the board, losing five in Welwyn Hatfield BC and four in Harlow alone.

Earlier in the afternoon, results in Wolverhampton confirmed that Labour had lost its 24-year dominance of the city council, which slipped to no overall control when the Conservatives gained eight seats.

The Tories also brought to five their tally of newly-gained councils in the region, by taking control of Solihull MBC and Redditch DC from no overall control.

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