THERE were shocks at the election count at Dudley Concert Hall as two of the council’s top Tory’s lost their seats to Labour in the north of the borough.

Leader of the Council, Anne Millward lost her nine year seat in Gornal to Labour’s Stuart Turner, by just two votes.

Following two nail-biting recounts, Anne graciously admitted defeat after polling 1,618 votes to Mr Turner’s 1,620.

Mrs Millward, who became the first female council leader in Dudley Council’s history, told the News she was “disappointed” but said it had been an honour and a privilege” to serve on the council.

She said: “I would like to thank the people of Gornal and I wish Stuart all the very best. He is a Gornal lad and I know he will look after their interests.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my nine years on the council. It has been an honour and a privilege.

“I would also like to thank my colleagues on the council from all parties who work hard for the people of this borough.

I have made some fabulous friends, but this means I have more time to spend with my family, who I’ve neglected.”

And speaking to the News following his victory, Stuart Turner said he was “absolutely thrilled and delighted” with the result, which he admitted he was “surprised” to win.

He said: “This goes to show what we can do with hard work.

“I didn’t think I could win and it hasn’t sunk in yet, but beating the leader of the council is a momentous victory.”

Meanwhile David Simms, Cabinet Member for Housing, Libraries and Adult Learning, also lost his Tory Upper Gornal and Woodsetton seat to Labour’s Adam Aston in a two horse race.

Mr Simms, who has sat on the council for eight years, lost by 130 votes after polling 1,681 to Adam’s 1,811.

However his wife, Glenis, was elected as a first time councillor in Wordsley today.

Mr Simms, said: “I have had a great eight years and have been proud to have represented the people of Upper Gornal and Woodsetton. But I will be back.”

Incoming councillor Adam Aston, said he was “delighted” to have won the seat after standing for five years previous.

The 29 year-old paramedic joins his mum councillor Margaret Aston on the council, who represents the Castle and Priory ward.

He said: “It is great that the people of Upper Gornal and Woodsetton have put their faith in me. I promise I will do my best to represent them.”

A proud mum, Margaret, said: “He worked really hard for this and has done really well.”

It is also a family affair over in Sedgley as David Caunt was re-elected by a majority of 969 , polling 1998 votes, to rejoin his daughter cllr Tina Westwood and cllr Evans as serving members.

He said: “My pledge to the Sedgley residents is the same as it’s always been. I will continue to work hard on their behalf.”

Labour also held on to their seats in Castle and Priory as Ken Finch romped home with a 1,368 majority, polling 2,099 votes.

Mr Finch said: “I am delighted the people of Castle and Priory have given me another chance to carry on working in our team for them. And if anyone needs our help, give us a ring and let us know.”

And Mary Roberts retained her seat in St James’s ward with 1,755 votes.

Labour also kept hold of St Thomas’s ward, but with a new young councillor leading the way.

Safeena Arshad polled 2,360 votes, with a huge majority of 1,739 joining cllr Ali and Waltho to represent the ward.

Miss Arshad, aged 23, is thought to be the one of the youngest ever councillors to serve on Dudley Council.

She said she was “honoured and excited” to be elected and vowed to be a “strong voice in these difficult times and to stand up against the Tory cuts”.