LABOUR have maintained their overall majority in Barnsley – as the party finds national success.

Today, Labour won 17 seats, notably finding success in Penistone East which had previously been a Conservative stronghold.

All cabinet members maintained their seats, with council leader Sir Steve Houghton keeping his position in Cudworth after almost 40 years in the council.

Nevertheless, Steve revealed to the Chronicle that he never sleeps easy on election night. He said: “It’s never boring, no matter how many years you do. In some ways it’s harder now than before.

“Those old party loyalties are still around but not as strong as they once were. You just can’t take people for granted.”

Liberal Democrats have maintained their opposition, with Steve Bullcock earning the party a seat in Kingstone. The new councillor, who has run for election three times, has said that ‘change won’t happen overnight’ but is prepared for the challenges ahead as he hopes to make improvements to his ward.

Other newcomer Leyla Nayeri maintained the Lib Dems’ majority in Darton East, finding success in her first-ever election.

Despite a push in the borough, the ten Reform UK candidates did not win any seats, and Conservatives lost one of their two – there is now only one Tory councillor remaining in Barnsley.

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There was strong competition in Rockingham, as Independent candidate Jaz Holt lost by only 153 votes to Labour candidate Sherry Holling.

Voter turnout dropped this year with only 44,697 – or 24.14 per cent – of the 186,249 person electorate showing up to vote, a 0.58 per cent dip from last year.

Postal votes remained the most popular voting method, as 53.6 per cent chose to post in their votes, similar to the 57.8 per cent who did last year.

The win for Labour follows a national trend, as the party have so far gained 97 seats across the country.

There is now renewed hope in the party, as they prepare for the General Election later this year.

MP for Barnsley East, Stephanie Peacock, told the Chronicle: “This is a really positive sign. It’s incredibly encouraging as we look forward to the General Election.

“This election goes to show that our council has been doing a really good job. I’m looking forward to the general election now – people use the local and mayoral elections to tell the government what they’re feeling so they’ve clearly sent a message today. But we can’t sit back now, we’ve got to keep working hard as we move forward to the General Election.”

After today, out of the 63 councillors in Barnsley, 48 are Labour, 11 Liberal Democrat, one Conservative, two independent and one Reform UK.

Winners today by ward are:

Central - Labour candidate Nicola Sumner with 1,012 votes.

Cudworth - Labour candidate Steve Houghton with 1,150 votes.

Darfield - Labour candidate Kevin Osborne with 1,012 votes.

Darton East - Liberal Democrat candidate Leyla Nayeri with 1,196 votes.

Darton West - Labour candidate Alice Cave with 1,074 votes.

Dearne North - Labour candidate Wendy Cain with 1,025 votes.

Dearne South - Labour candidate Deborah Jane Pearson with 1,060 votes.

Dodworth - Liberal Democrat candidate Chris Wray with 1,328 votes.

Hoyland Milton - Labour candidate Mick Stowe with 1,092 votes.

Kingstone - Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Bullcock 791 votes.

Monk Bretton - Labour candidate Steve Green with 1,032 votes.

North East - Labour candidate Dorothy Coates with 1,085 votes.

Old Town - Labour candidate Phil Lofts with 1,130 votes.

Penistone East - Labour candidate John Roberts with 1,533 votes.

Penistone West - Liberal Democrat candidate Mandy Lowe Flello with 1,414 votes.

Rockingham - Labour candidate Sherry Holling with 884 votes.

Royston - Labour candidate Caroline Makinson with 1,082 votes.

Stairfoot - Labour candidate Karen Dyson with 955 votes.

Wombwell - Labour candidate James Higginbottom with 1,370 votes.

Worsbrough - Labour candidate Roy Bowser with 996 votes.