LABOUR gained four seats in the West Lancashire council elections but the Conservatives comfortably retained overall control.
Following on from Labour MP Rosie Cooper’s successful defence of her West Lancashire parliamentary seat, Labour gained two seats in Ormskirk’s Scott ward and Burscough West from the Tories.
Two Scott ward seats were contested due to the by- election caused by the resignation of Conservative Geoff Hammond in March.
There was great interest in the result from both Labour and Conservatives and the results were the last ones announced after votes were counted three times by staff.
Labour also took Up Holland, which was held by former Labour member David Phythian.
He served as an independent councillor since being suspended by Laboue in 2007 over racist comments he made about the then Wigan footballer Pascal Chimbonda.
Former council sports development worker Yvonne Gagen, whose job went in the authority’s redundancies earlier this year, has now joined the councillors after holding Ashurst for Labour.
Burscough West was the closest result with John David taking the seat by just 41 votes from the incumbent Tory David Griffiths.
On the plus side for the Tories, leader Cllr Ian Grant kept hold of his seat, as did Cllr John Baldock, who will be the next mayor of West Lancashire.
Another Tory Cllr Paul Greenall, who was unsuccessful in his bid to take the St Helens North parliamentary seat, kept hold of his Ormskirk’s Derby ward seat on the council.
Cllr Grant said: "We will still be in control come the council’s AGM on May 19. We lost a couple of hardworking colleagues but will continue providing affordable services."
Labour group leader Cllr Paul Cotterill said: "We enjoyed a good afternoon. Congratulations to all the candidates who have become councillors and commiserations to all those who failed."
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said: "This is a continuation from the great result on Thursday night. It shows what we can do when we work together."
After the elections the council standings are: Conservative, 31; Labour 21; Independents 1. One seat is vacant