Labour blitz local elections

St Helens Town Hall.
St Helens Town Hall.
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Labour won 14 out of 16 seats in the local council elections in St Helens.

The battle royal predicted in the town centre ward failed to materialise as the Red Rose party’s Lisa Preston beat former Mayor John Beirne - standing for UKIP - by more than 800 votes.

Ex Town Hall leader Marie Rimmer, who is set to run for MP in St Helens South and Whiston next year, easily held onto her West Park seat.

There were also victories for the likes of Sue Murphy, Paul McQuade, Gareth Cross, Bill Anderton, Jeff Fletcher, Richard McCauley and Terry Shields.

In Newton, Labour’s Jean Bell picked up more than 250 more votes than her Lib Dem counterpart - despite the seat having previously been held by Lib Dem Neil Taylor.

Local Lib Dem leader Steph Topping suffered the ignominy of not just losing her Sutton seat - but being beaten into third by UKIP.

In a poor showing for the Lib Dems, which left them with just three councillors, all in Eccleston, they received just 64 votes in Billinge and Seneley Green - the same as the BNP.

The one bright spot was deputy Mayor Geoff Pearl who comfortably held onto his Eccleston seat and is set to become Mayor of St Helens for 2014/15.

The only other non-Labour winner was Linda Mussell, who prevailed in Rainford after former local Tory leader David Monk stepped down.

For a full report, see next Wednesday’s St Helens Reporter.