Leader Lord True hails historic win as Tories retain Richmond Council (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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Leader Lord True hails historic win as Conservatives retain Richmond Council
Richmond Council leader Lord True has celebrated with his party during a mammoth win on election night.
He said: "I always thought we would win. I think it is a comfortable win and it is a great vote of confidence by the public in the borough in the work that the council has been doing in the last four years.
"We are very grateful because it is always harder for an incumbent to get elected for a second term.
"It is the first time since 1978 the Tories have regained control of the borough.
He said: "I hope we can work together a little bit more.
"The Lib Dems are relentlessly negative and a lot in their manifesto was very negative and took an attack dog stance.
"We try to be positive, like Zac Goldsmith. The one thing about him is he is always positive and we try to do that and I think that paid off."
A Liberal Democrat councillor who has represented Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside for 40 years has lost his seat as the Tories look to regain control of the council.
Councillor David Williams, who has been elected since 1974, lost his seat to the Conservatives.
Lib Dem councillor Brian Miller also lost his seat but Penny Frost was voted in for the yellows.
Lib Dem leader Councillor Stephen Knight said: "I am desperately disappointed for both of them.
"They have served Ham and Petersham and indeed the borough for a large number of years and as a borough we have lost two political giants.
"Their shoes will not easily be filled. It is a great tragedy for us."
Both South Richmond and North Richmond are all Conservative wards.
Kew also saw the Lib Dems defeated when Tory Monica Horner swiped the seat from JF Burford.
Councillor Meena Bond, who was re-elected in Kew, said: "I am absolutely delighted and elated."
How the borough's political landscape compares with 2010
The first ward to return was Hampton Wick, with Tony Arbour, Gareth Evans and Tania Mathias retaining their seats.
Coun Mathias said: "I am delighted - we are a good team.
"We are lucky to have Tony leading the way and I just heard it was a better result than last time.
"This is a strong Conservative team and we made promises that people have voted for."
Barnes was the second ward to declare, with Paul Hodgins, Rita Palmer and Christine Percival making the first two wards a true blue affair.
Coun Hodgins said: "I think we knew pretty early on.
"I am very happy to be representing Barnes again.
"We are going to continue fulfilling the promises we made in terms of expanding our schools, both primary and secondary.
"We have made a pledge I support Turing House and to try to get that established and also a school within the college."
Liberal Democrats Councillor Jonathan Cardy and Councillor Jerry Elloy retained their seats in Fulwell and Hampton Hill with 1,282 and 1,328 votes respectively.
However, following the retirement of Lib Dem Councillor Malcolm Eady, Conservative Mark Boyle split the ward after being elected with 1,260 votes.
The Tories held Twickenham Riverside for the first time as Councillor Susan Chappell led the way with 1,485 votes.
She is joined by new councillors Benedict Dias (1,293) and Helen Hill (1,267) and praised her team.
She said: "We are thrilled, it is brilliant and we have increased our majority since last time.
"We have a fantastic team who work well together and we are going to continue our hard work.
"We will give Twickenham the chance to get the investment it needs and a new town square."
Councillor Scott Naylor's UKIP colleagues made no impact on the ward, with the sitting councillor taking just 294 votes.
The Lib Dems came close with Susan Burningham winning 1,187 votes.
Richmond Council leader Lord True has held on to his seat as two more wards win all Conservative seats.
Both East Sheen and Mortlake and Barnes Common wards were chosen as fully Tory wards.
Lord True held on to his seat with 2,159 votes.
He said: "I would like to thank the team of officers who have conducted this long hard count and we are extremely grateful to you for making democracy possible.
"We shall respect the ongoing work of the count until it is concluded and I would like to thank Gillian Norton and her team for all their hard work."
The Conservatives are hoping to retain control of the council they have led for the past four years while the Liberal Democrats hope to steal power from the Tories.
Richmond Council leader Lord True said: "We've had a long campaign and it has been a confusing campaign with all the noise about Europe off stage and everything with UKIP.
"We have just campaigned very positively.
"I have been disappointed by the negative turn of some of the campaigns - it's not what people around here like.
"At the moment I am feeling OK about it but there are a number of wards that are very close.
"There are some wards where it could go one way or the other which could change the whole control of the council but I cannot make that forecast at the moment."
He said North Richmond, Teddington and Kew were looking particularly close.
In Hampton North, deputy leader Councillor Geoffrey Samuel retained his seat with a significant majority while Lib Dem councillors Darren Thornton and Ellen Day lost their seats.
He said: "We won with a majority of nearly 700, UKIP did well and beat Labour - the Lib Dems did not do so well.
"It was a huge majority bearing in mind they took two seats last time.
"Any environmental improvement such as Hampton Square is always very popular.
"Over the past four years we have made a point of visiting people at their homes all year round, not just during the election period."
Coun Samuel secured 1,390 votes and was elected along with fellow Conservatives Kate Howard (1,313) and Martin Seymour (1,280).
In West Twickenham, Lib Dems Councillor Pier Allen (1,249) and Councillor Helen Lee-Parsons (1,209) held their seats.
They were joined by Conservative Jane Boulton who won 1,133 votes, ousting Lib Dem Councillor Lesley Pollesche.
The Tories held South Twickenham with ease as former mayor Councillor Clare Head (1,621), Councillor David Porter (1,551) and Councillor David Marlow (1,481) came out on top.
Coun Porter said: "I am absolutely thrilled, it is great to have a bigger majority in the council.
"It is a vindication for lots of what we have done."
Cabinet member for transport Councillor Chris Harrison lost his seat in St Margarets and North Twickenham in a rare success for the Lib Dems, who took all three seats on offer.
Councillor Geoff Acton (1,729), Councillor Ben Khosa (1,564) and Alexander Ehmann (1,469) enjoyed victory over Coun Harrison, who fell short with 1,384 votes.
Two Lib Dem councillors took the majority in split ward Hampton, which also saw the election of Conservative Petra Sale, who took 1,341 votes.
Councillor Gareth Roberts (1,578) and Councillor Suzette Nicholson (1,570) were re-elected.
Coun Roberts said: "It has been a difficult night for us.
"The Conservatives will face several problems over the next few years.
"The tightness has been testament that it has been far from the ringing endorsement they like to think it is."
The hard-fought Heathfield ward ended up split between two Tories and one Lib Dem.
Councillor John Coombs led the way with 1,147 votes, followed by Councillor Alan Butler with 1,126.
Annie Hambridge was also elected with 1,088 votes.
In the final ward to be declared on Friday, Councillor Gareth Elliott and Councillor Liz Jaeger secured further terms after winning in Whitton.
Coun Elliott led the way with 1,427 votes, closely followed by fellow Tory Grant Healey with 1,129.
Coun Jaeger ensured Lib Dem representation in Whitton with 1,104 votes.
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