May 5, 2023 4.20 am This story is over 10 months old

Labour retain control of City of Lincoln Council as Lib Dems gain two seats

Conservatives also hold one seat amid under 30% turnout

Labour have retained control of the City of Lincoln Council after the May 4 local elections, but lost two seats to the Liberal Democrats in the process.

Labour lost a seat in Abbey Ward, where Lib Dem Natasha Chapman took 1,028 votes – 535 more than the defending Labour councillor Jane Loffhagen.

The Lib Dem success means they now hold all three of the Abbey ward seats, having taken the rest in the previous two elections.

Not only that, but the party also took Glebe Ward, with candidate Aiden Wells receiving 1,020 votes to former Labour Mayor Jackie Kirk’s 464.

The win here means a step into Labour Councillor Ric Metcalfe’s ward, with the Lincoln council leader due to face the public vote next year.

Elsewhere, Labour held steady in Castle, Carholme, Birchwood, Moorland, Minster, Hartsholme and Boultham.

The Conservatives didn’t make any headway this time round, with Councillor Tom Dyer successfully holding off a Labour attack in Witham Ward with 896 votes to 727.

Labour lost two seats during the count. | Photo: Steve Smailes Photography

The election this year saw a turnout of 29.38% across the city – higher than 2022 at 29.07% but lower than 2021 at 31.37%.

The lowest turnout was 19.88% in Park Ward where Sue Burke held the seat for the Labour party.

Labour leader Ric Metcalfe praised the win of eight seats of the 11 being contested, however, said he was disappointed to lose two councillors.

“I think that can be explained because I think a lot of Conservative voters are disillusioned with the Conservatives nationally, and it looks as though they’ve put their vote this time to the Liberal Democrats,” he said.

“The Lib Dems have benefited from that disillusionment, I don’t think they’ve taken many votes from us.”

Conservative leader Tom Dyer held onto his seat. | Photo: Steve Smailes Photography

Asked if the encroachment onto his Glebe Ward was of concern, Councillor Metcalfe said: “What they’ve tended to do is concentrate their resources in one or two places and if you look across the city where Labour are strong, the Liberal Democrats have done poorly.”

He felt the party had not got a “significant” base in the city.

The Liberal Democrat members left the count early to celebrate their wins.

However, they took to social media with York councillor Darryl Smalley, who was in attendance at the Lincoln Drill count, tweeting: “Doubled the size of the Lib Dem group – Labour have been put on notice!”

See all our local elections coverage on MyLocal Lincolnshire, the new home of The Lincolnite