Cllr Philip Atkins. Pic: M Holland

The Conservatives have been given a “massive vote of confidence” in the local elections, according to the leader of Staffordshire County Council.

The Tories regained overall control of the authority after extending their majority by winning 51 of the 62 available seats, including all but one in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Cllr Philip Atkins. Pic: M Holland

Cllr Philip Atkins said the results showed residents trusted his party to navigate through the difficult challenges ahead.

“We are delighted to be given this massive vote of confidence and mandate to lead Staffordshire County Council for the next four years and I would like to thank all those who voted in this year’s election,” he said.

“There are challenging times ahead and our priority over the coming four years will be to continue to grow the economy, create better jobs and opportunities for skills and learning and support more people lead healthier, more independent lives for as long as possible.”


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

34 replies on “Results show Conservatives have been given a massive vote of confidence, says leader of Staffordshire County Council”

  1. Would love to see a breakdown of the vote demographic. I’m 46 and was by far the youngest person voting in the polling station.

    Older people are far more likely to vote for conservative values and turn out for elections, especially council elections, which generally have a low turnout out.

    Rather than a “massive vote of confidence” what you have is the right audience for your party.

  2. And that’s the Conservative’s fault that other parties supporters either can’t be bothered or they don’t have any?

  3. Nothing to do with the repetitive scare campaigns run by Murdoch and Viscount Rothermere’s papers?

  4. A lot to do with the media and also the deliberate confusion with Brexit. It also doesn’t help when organisations like BAG take political issues out of the arena, aided by the local Tories, nor spurious claims by candidates about what they have done.

  5. Democratic institutions only works if all concerned do their best to impart knowledge and to encourage rationality. Today the politicians and the propagandists prefer to make of nonsense of democratic procedures by appealing almost exclusively to the ignorance and irrationality of the electors.

    Those who have the power to inform have nothing to gain by doing so, and much to gain by misinforming, or by allowing misconceptions to perpetuate.

    Democracy is a failed system.

  6. One wonders what we should implement instead if “democracy is a failed system”? Should we maybe go down the route of having a dictator, or an unelected president? Or could it just be that where the result of democracy in action goes against the result one would personally prefer the perception is that the outcome is undemocratic? We should also remember that not voting, or spoiling a vote, is also a democratic choice.

  7. 54% of a 30% turnout of those on the Electoral Roll is hardly a “massive” vote of confidence! Democracy is not a failed system, it is flawed. Every citizen should be required to vote. With rights come responsibilities!

  8. Proportional representation, possibly coupled with compulsory voting.

    Anyway, the point was that Phil Atkins is taking this as a vote of confidence for Tory policy, I’d say the opposition parties are in such a mix at the moment to read it as a straight green light for them. I agree that’s not their fault and it’s about time Corbyn went.

    Having an underperforming opposition and/or an overconfident mainstream doesn’t help anyone, especially in our current FPTP system.

  9. The British public are wrong about almost everything. A number of studies have shown that. The reason is that no-one makes any attempt to put them right. Certainly the political parties and the mainstream media do not. The EU Referendum was a stark case in point, outright lied to by both sides of the argument almost no member of the electorate stood a chance of making an informed decision.
    Democracy only works with an engaged and well informed population, only then can they make if not good choices, then at least informed ones that truly reflect the majority, not just the majority of those who vote.
    Again, there is no incentive to engage with that portion of the population who remain silent each time they have the chance to vote, a portion that is growing ever larger.

  10. Isn’t proportional representation just another form of democracy? If the first past the post system is giving an outcome that is perceived by some of the electorate to be undemocratic I don’t think it’s right to dismiss the whole democratic process as failed. I struggle with compulsory voting – choosing not to vote is as valid a choice as voting and human rights would surely mean it’s not right to force people to do something against their will.

  11. I never bemoaned democracy.

    I agree, in an ideal world, people would be engaged and interested in these important decisions, sadly they are not, it’s just one idea and perhaps a bad one, not sure what you could do to increase voter turnout?

    27.8% of the electorate DID NOT VOTE in Brexit, that’s almost 13 million votes, it may have confirmed the decision or changed it completely.

  12. I particularly enjoy the “voters are stupid, ill-educated, racist, knuckle-draggers, xenophobic etc” when the left aren’t successful. It displays stella levels of smugness and arrogance.

  13. Considering the level of reasoning given about voting for Brexit Rob, one could be forgiven for thinking that.

    Furthermore, read back over pro-Brexit accounts like Farage et al and see the level of dissent they were promising if the vote didn’t their way.

  14. Maybe we need, a none of the above box.

    A lot of people show their unhappiness with the choices in front of them, by not turning out to vote.

    It would speak volumes, if none of the above, won a local seat. It would show our unhappiness.

  15. I like the idea of Re-open Nominations. It gives you a chance to say none of these are good enough, find a new lot to stand.

  16. Clearly Councillor Philip Atkins has a poor sense of “massive” scale, the numbers on his own SCC website are very clear.
    14,057 voters, voted conservative in the Burntwood and Lichfield districts, on a very low 33% voter turnout.
    The other 65,029 registered voters either did not vote or voted differently.

    And this is how they will win the general election, Conservatives telling everybody that they have an unbeatable “Massive vote of confidence” fuelling voter apathy as individuals think they cannot make a difference.

    If you are registered to vote, use it, even if it is as a form of protest, it is your right, and if you are not registered, you have until 11:59pm on 22 May 2017 to register for the General Election, don’t give those that stand for election an easy time, they should be working hard for you and this is your chance to make them sweat!

  17. And there’s Rob with his non-sequitur comments.

    When you look a t the fact that on average two out of three people didn’t bother voting, then the headline “Massive vote of confidence” is hardly the right one. Instead the political parties should be looking at what is going wrong that so many people are not bothering to get to the polling station. It isn’t just laziness, there’s a lot of factors here, apathy, disillusionment with the political system, not feeling represented to name a few. The times I have heard ‘they are all the same, noses in the trough” lately is worrying. The expenses scandal did more damage than the press have reported; it isn’t forgotten, and it reaffirmed for a lot of people that the whole political system stinks. So does democracy work? Of course it does, but only if there is something worth voting for. The headline should read “We are concerned that two out of three people feel unrepresented.”

  18. The headline is quoting remarks made by the council leader and states as much. So it is the right one.

  19. Point taken. I was implying that the Council Leader needs to be more reflective of why 2 out of 3 don’t vote, rather than see the result as a ringing endorsement.Are we going to get to the stage where only one in ten vote and it is still seen as a massive victory?

  20. I know what you mean but it’s unlikely that the victors (of any political slant) are going to care too much. At least, I can’t recall it ever happening before.

  21. At local council level party political affiliation is meaningless. If you want to get elected in Lichfield, wear a Conservative badge regardless of your views, and that’s what they do.
    Local politicians should be elected from their own communities on their individual merit and commitment and should then form their own natural alliances within the elected council. Ban party affiliation from local politics.

  22. I agree with you FSL. Local representation should come from the community not from a prescribed party stance that has little to do with local issues.

  23. I could put a blue ribbon on my pet poodle and it would walkIn to office ,Party political backed candidates should be bypassed ,we need an independent group of local people to stand for council ,with no affiliation to parties

  24. A lot of disappointed people about today after the CPS verdict on 2015 election expenses. I wonder if C4 news will mention it?

  25. Yes.
    It’s the same withthe EU Ref, the defeated keep trying to find anomalies to undermine/overturn results that they don’t like. They’ll never stop picking away.
    If it’s agreed there was an overspend and the local candidates have been cleared of involvement then that only leaves the central campaign office to go at. The problem for the losers is that proven rule-breaking by the constituency office could possibly, though not in every case, lead to disqualification or similar, and re-run of the vote, potentially eroding the Conservative majority.
    Any case proven against Central Office would lead to another monetary fine (so what) and a couple of token sackings/sword-falling, but wouldn’t affect the majority in the House. The protaganists weren’t interested in the second option because it wouldn’t assist their ultimate aims so the possibility wasn’t publicised.
    That’s why after reading all the excitement on left-wing media in the preceeding 24 hours about the decision being announced today I was so pleased that no prosecutions are forthcoming and enjoyed the disappointment that many on the left are obviously experiencing.

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