BNP gains in Amber Valley local election

The British National Party took two seats from Labour in Heanor in a dramatic election count on Thursday.

A delay in the arrival of postal votes meant results were still being declared at 2am but as the night progressed the BNP claimed two seats and went within one vote of a third.

Lewis Allsebrook, aged just 24, took the Heanor West seat from Celia Cox with 727 votes to 560.

Cllr Allsebrook said: "I'd like to thank everybody who voted for me in Heanor. Hopefully we will now see some positive change in the town.

"People are dissatisfied with Labour and the Conservatives and they want the change that hopefully we can offer.

"I will put my whole focus into doing the job in hand."

Cliff Roper won Heanor East from Labour's Ken Armstrong who finished third behind Conservative candidate Linda Edwards-Millsom.

Cliff Roper said: "I'd put the success down to local dissatisfaction to what Labour are doing in Heanor. People feel the Labour and Conservative parties are out of touch.

"We've got to try and stop our services from being shut down. Heanor has lost two post offices, a sorting office, and an accident and emergency facility in the past few years."

In the Heanor and Loscoe ward Labour candidate Alan Longdon won by a single vote from BNP candidate Paul Snell - 513 to 512.

Labour Group leader Bob Moon said: "We're bitterly disappointed. Heanor has lost two excellent councillors for reasons that I can't understand.

"Celia Cox and Ken Armstrong are two of the finest councillors Heanor has had in it's history and why people don't recognise that I don't understand.

"I think this is a result of national issues rather than local. There is a lot of dissatisfaction with Labour nationally and local people have taken that out on councillors who have served them loyally, efficiently and with a great deal of hard work for many years. It's a tragedy."