The West Midlands: change is coming

Will Savage

Director - Head of Birmingham

For the last few election cycles, the West Midlands has been a bit boring. The odd seat changing hands here and there, maybe even a tight council switching colour, but the two main parties remained entrenched.

Whilst the counting continues, it’s already clear that this cycle has been broken. The Lib Dems have ridden a wave of Conservative disenchantment to take full control of Stratford District Council. It has never happened before.

Leaders have fallen like dominoes. Tony Jefferson in Stratford was ousted by the Lib Dems, whilst Seb Lowe in Rugby was felled by the Labour Party. At time of publication, counting continues in Warwick amid nervousness from the Conservative Party already governing in partnership with others.

Nevertheless, the national picture of a Conservative bloodbath isnot replicated everywhere. In Coventry, the Labour Party lost a seat, whilst in Solihull the Conservatives gained two at the expense of the Greens and Independents.

In Wolverhampton, the Leader – Ian Brookfield – was only narrowly re-elected in his own ward and the Conservative held on to their narrow majority in Dudley.

Elections, of course, are only half the story. Change looks to be coming without recourse to the ballot box in Birmingham – with Ian Ward under pressure from his own side.

Meanwhile, Coventry – despite the Labour Party securing their grip on the city – is rife with rumours of internal change.

For the first time in some years there looks to be a wholesale changing of the guard in the West Midlands. New energy, new visions, and new ideas. Of course, continuity remains with Andy Street still in post, but it’s time to embrace the change which is to come.

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