THE Conservatives may still have a majority on the council but Thursday’s election belonged to the Labour Party.

Local issues which have dominated the campaign came to the fore as the seats of Lydiard and Freshbrook and Old Town were taken by the opposition party.

For a number of years, the Conservatives have been able to grow their majority with a series of big results.

However, this has now been trimmed to just three and a key figure in the administration has been deselected.

Old Town’s Brian Mattock was the party’s deputy leader as well as the cabinet member for adult health and social care.

But many residents in the ward were angry at the possibility of parishes being introduced and voted for Labour’s Jane Milner-Barry, who is calling for a referendum on the issue.

In West Swindon, the proposed lease of Lydiard has angered many, with hundreds of residents attending a meeting earlier this year to voice their opposition to the historic attraction leaving public hands.

On Thursday, they made those voices heard at the voting booth as 25-year-old Matthew Courtliff became Swindon’s youngest councillor winning the Lydiard and Freshbrook seat.

There was a scare for the Conservatives in Highworth when cuts to library budget looked as though it could return another Labour councillor but in the end Maureen Penny retained her seat comfortably.

The result means there are now 30 Conservative seats, 25 Labour seats and Stan Pajak holding his Eastcott ward means the Liberal Democrats retain their two seats.

While the Conservatives still have a majority, more consideration may well be needed when implementing their vision for the future.

In areas of the borough not impacted by changes the Conservatives extended their vote so Labour still have work to do if they are to get their message to everyone.

There are now two years until the next local elections take place so both main parties have time to work out how they move forward, although the face of local government is likely to be very different in 2018.

On a more practical note, Coun Renard has a big decision to make. Adult social care is a highly complex area and has the largest council budget.

With rising demand and cost pressures, it will need someone new in place quickly.