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Latest results: Local elections 2017

Latest results and reaction following local elections in North Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, North Tyneside and in the Tees Valley for its first Metro Mayor

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Straw draw denies Conservatives control of Northumberland County Council

A straw draw has denied the conservatives overall majority in the Northumberland County Council election.

A total of 34 seats out of a possible 66 are required for a party to claim total control of the council.

After several hours of counting and verifying votes, the results were as follows:

  • Conservatives - 33 seats
  • Labour - 25 seats
  • Independent candidates - 5 seats
  • Liberal Democrats - 2 seats

With 33 seats, the Conservatives only needed one more to claim total control of the council.

South Blyth was the final seat to be decided.

After two recounts it was confirmed that Conservative candidate Daniel Carr and Liberal Democrats hopeful Lesley Rickerby received an equal amount of votes, resulting in a draw.

A draw of lots was done to decide which party would win the South Blyth seat.

Liberal Democrats won.

Ms Rickerby called the experience "very traumatic" and said she was in no rush to repeat what had happened.

"It's unbelievable that when you consider we have a democratic service that we end up having to draw straws," she said.

"It was very traumatic and I certainly would have preferred it to be a majority, but the way our system works, after a couple of recounts, we had no choice.

"The returning officer decides if we would flip a coin or draw straws and he went with straws.

"I felt if I did it I was choosing my own destiny but I cannot deny it was very traumatic.

"When you enjoy doing something like representing people I would have been very disappointed to lose it that way.

"I'm certainly don't want to do that again in a hurry, it really was the last straw."

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