AN EVENTFUL night at the Vale of Glamorgan local election count saw the Conservatives lose control of the council and Labour gain seats – but with no overall majority.

Independent candidates saw success in several wards, Plaid Cymru held on to its existing councillors, and the authority gained its first UKIP member.

Many residents shunned the polling booths, although the 39 per cent county-wide turnout was seven percent better than the election average. Vale Council leader Gordon Kemp was ousted as one of Rhoose's two councillors, with Independent Phil Clarke taking the majority vote, and Conservative Cllr Jeff James confirmed as second following a recount requested by party colleague Mr Kemp.

Independent Bob Penrose emerged victorious in Sully after he and UKIP candidate Kevin Mahoney beat off the challenge of former councillors Anthony Ernest and Sarah Sharpe.

Cllr Penrose said: "This is the dawning of a new era in the Sully ward, in which the demands, views and opinions of the residents of Sully, Lavernock and Cosmeston will be truly reflected and represented."

The former leader Gordon Kemp blamed his party’s losses on the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition in Westminster.

Meanwhile Vale Labour leader, Cllr Neil Moore thanked voters for ‘their confidence in the party’, after their tally of seats rose by 10 to 22.

He said: "Obviously we have not secured an overall majority and need to consider all options on working to set up a new progressive council, working for all the people of the Vale, and ensuring that our pledges come to fruition during our term of office.

"Clearly the flawed and unsustainable Local Development Plan had an impact in the campaign and our pledge to scrap the current Draft Plan and go back to the drawing board had some effect in some wards.

"A Labour run Vale Council will work with our Town and Community Councils and the people in the Vale, and will robustly mange the Council to provide the services the people require.

"Our immediate task will be to make sure that Labour’s agenda becomes a reality, be it as a minority council or in coalition with another party."