Labour loses control of Ashfield

LABOUR has let slip its iron grip of Ashfield District Council - losing eight of its seats to leave no group in overall conrol.

The Liberal Democrats were the big winners in the poll - winning eight seats to take its tally to nine, including a clean sweep of Sutton North.

Among the party's winners was 19-year-old Helen Smith, who will now be one of the youngest councillors in the country after securing a seat in Woodhouse ward.

Labour is left with just nine seats, with the biggest casualty being long-standing cabinet member Jessie Parker - who failed to win re-election to Sutton North.

High-profile county councillor Steve Carroll and cabinet member Stephen Mays also felt the backlash against Labour after they failed to win election to the Sutton East ward and the Underwood seat respectively.

But council stalwarts Wendy Harvey, Independent member for Kirkby East, and John Baird, Independent member for Kirkby West, are celebrating after being succesfully re-elected.

Council make up: Labour 9; Independents 12; Lib Dems 9; Conservatives 3.