“WE listened to the people,” was the message from Labour following a successful local election campaign.

In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s count, the proposed leasing of Lydiard Park and the possible creation of new parish councils had dominated much of the debate.

There had been vocal opposition to the Conservative administration’s plans and voters delivered them a heavy blow.

First the Lydiard and Freshbrook seat was lost to Labour and a short time later the council’s Deputy Leader Brian Mattock lost his Old Town seat.

While the Conservatives still have a majority in the council chamber, Labour believe voters have delivered a powerful message.

“We have taken those key wards because we have listened to what people want,” said Councillor Jim Grant (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney).

“We reflected in our policies what residents want. Certainly they want a referendum on parishes, they want Lydiard to stay in public ownership and they don’t want libraries to close.

“Tonight vindicates our approach. Going forward we need to build on tonight by making that work all over Swindon.”

Despite getting strong results in some area of the town, especially in North Swindon where the majority in a number of wards was increased, the Conservatives have said they need to improve how they get their message across.

Council Leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) said: “Losing Brian Mattock is a blow because he is a fantastic councillor and a really great representative.

“Parishing was a big issue in Old Town and a lot of misinformation was put out there. Clearly that carried the day. It was mentioned on the doorstep so we’ve got to work a lot harder explaining to people what our proposition is.

“We have laid out what our vision is for the next five years. No alternative has been put forward. We’ve got to reflect on what’s happened tonight but it’s hard to see how we can change direction given the financial pressure the borough is under.”

For the Liberal Democrats, the big victory of the night was keeping Councillor Stan Pajak in his Eastcott seat despite strong pressure from Labour.

Party Chairman Alex Hegenbarth said: “The community really recognise how important Stan is and all the work he does throughout the year.

“They really value what he does. We’ve had many people come out who would normally vote for other parties but recognise just what a key figure Stan is.”

For the Green Party, Talis Kimberley-Fairbourn finished second in Wroughton.

She said: “This is the first election where I haven’t played political, I’ve just been myself and I feel it has worked and that we are gaining a greater foothold in Swindon.

“There has been some really encouraging cross-party support and discussion going on, which is what any party needs to progress, co-operation. We’ve had some encouraging results so I am pleased with how it has gone.”

While UKIP did not reach the heights of 2014, party chairman John Short was pleased with the results.

He said: “I feel we have done a good job and a consistent one. We have consistently placed third in these elections and for a party with limited resources we have done a very good job.

“Considering we are a small party with limited finances this has showed what we can do. I am very happy with the way it’s gone tonight.”