WITH Labour retaining a majority on Bradford Council, with almost the same number of Councillors as after the last local election, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there weren't many surprises this year.

However, there were a number of big scalps when the results were announced, along with some subtle shifts in the political make up of the Council.

After today's count Labour has 51 seats on the 90 seat Council. Just 46 seats were needed for the party to hold an overall majority.

The Conservatives remain the opposition party with the most seats - 25.

Liberal Democrats have seven seats, Greens three, Independent Socialists one and the remainder made up of independents.

The big talking points were:

In Keighley West Adrian Farley, part of the Labour Executive and in charge of Children and Families, lost his seat by just six votes.

Conservative candidate Julie Ann Glentworth got 1,556 compared to Cllr Farley's 1,550.

It means Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe, who was not up for re-election this year, will have to reshape her cabinet in the coming days. The role is one of the most significant on the Council, and it oversees the authority's Children's Services department as it attempts to move out of its Inadequate Ofsted judgement.

Another high profile Councillor to lose his seat was John Pennington. The former owner of Pennington's Octagon and the Midland Hotel was leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council until last October, when Councillor Rebecca Poulson took on the role.

He lost his Bingley seat to Labour candidate Marcus Peter Dearden in one of the biggest shocks of the day. Bingley has traditionally proved to be a Conservative stronghold.

Another big figure in Bradford politics, former Bradford East MP David Ward, lost his seat in Bolton and Undercliffe.

The Chair of Bradford Civic Society, Si Cunningham, took the seat for Labour in one of the party's other significant gains of the day.

Cllr Ward was listed as representing the Liberal Democrat and Independent Group on the Council's website, but was listed as Independent on the election papers.

And long standing Independent Councillor Adrian Naylor lost his Craven seat to the Conservative candidate Peter William Clarke.

Cllr Naylor is a former Conservative, and had been a member of the Council executive when the Conservatives led the Council.

While the Green Party had proved popular in Shipley over the years, they had yet to replicate that success in other wards.

However their candidate Matt Edwards won the Tong seat, which had belonged to Labour Councillor Michael Johnson who was stepping down this year.

It brings the number of Green Councillors in Bradford to three.

Mr Edwards had come close to gaining a seat in Tong in 2019. After four re-counts, the vote in the Tong ward remained tied, with both the Labour and Mr Edwards receiving 742 votes.

It meant that the ward’s next Councillor was decided by the two tied candidates, the other being Labour’s Kauser Mukhtar, drawing lots, leading to heartbreak for the Mr Edwards when he lost the seat.

Like in other parts of the country, the Conservatives made several gains. After winning the available seat in Queensbury all three seats for that ward are now held by Tories.

And as well as gaining Keighley West, Wyke was taken by Conservative candidate Joan Clarke, at the cost of Labour Councillor Rosie Watson.

Despite the Conservatives' gains, three of those gains were in seats that had been held by independents - limiting the impact on the Labour group.