Labour take back control of Dudley Council

Labour have taken control of Dudley Council after a vote to oust the Conservative leadership.

Councillor Pete Lowe will now take charge of the local authority, 18 months after being forced out by the Tories.

A tight vote, a 37-35 majority, came amid accusations of bullying within the Conservative group. Cllr Lowe told Black Country Radio it had been “the most extraordinary of circumstances”. He said:

“What we heard tonight was a long standing Conservative member actually get up in the Council chamber and talk about bullying and harassment within the Conservative party.

“From our point of view, we're delighted that we can get back to business and start to represent the people of Dudley."

The vote ends the Tories' grip on power in the borough, which lasted less than 18 months, after the council was left with no overall control, resulting in the Conservatives taking control from Labour in a coalition with UKIP.

The Tories, led by Cllr. Patrick Harley, then took full control at the local elections in mid-May, but the loss of several UKIP seats left them in a vulnerable position, which was exposed in July when Conservative Norton Councillor Mike Attwood defected to Labour, tipping the balance of power.

Tonight's vote represented the first opportunity for Labour to seize control, as the full council met for the first time since the summer break. Cllr Lowe, whose deputy has been confirmed as Cllr Judy Foster, said his first duty would be to stand up against continued cutbacks. He added:

"We're demanding a fair deal for Dudley. Dudley has lost out by £76 million in funding since 2010, £100 million by 2020 - 20% of our funding. Whilst at the same time, Surrey Council, which is Conservative controlled, has had their budgets cut by less than 2%.

"We believe we need an administration that's actually going to stand up for the people of Dudley. That's what we will be demanding - a fair deal for each and every resident of our proud borough."

He later added on Facebook that Labour would "campaign for an end to austerity".

The council's cabinet will be made up from Cllrs Khurshid Ahmed, Cathy Bayton, Kieran Casey, Rachel Harris, John Martin, Sue Ridney, Gaye Partridge and Qadar Zada, though their individual posts have yet to be announced.

There has been no comment from the Conservatives so far.


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'