Jubilant Tories on Bradford Council were celebrating today after snatching back five seats from Labour in an election where only a fraction of voters turned up at the polling booths.

But the Tories say they believe many of the people who did cast their votes were against Labour's controversial schools review.

The Labour seats went toppling at Thornton, Bingley, Toller, Worth Valley and Shipley West.

There were also shocks at Little Horton where chairman of the transportation, planning and design committee Latif Darr won his seat by only 27 votes from Tory Iqbal Khan.

And at Clayton former Lord Mayor Gordon Mitchell scraped in by just 36 votes against Tory opponent Elaine Byrom. Mrs Byrom had fought her campaign strongly on the school reviews.

Coun Mitchell acknowledged that the controversial review had caused feelings to run high in Clayton saying: "We are losing Clayton Middle School and I have had a number of calls from concerned parents and teachers."

Bingley is once again a Tory heartland with Colin Gill regaining the seat lost to Chris Leslie four years ago.

But there was a blow for the Tories at Baildon when long-standing councillor Colin Charlesworth lost his seat to Liberal-Democrat Grahame Thornton.

Mr Charlesworth, said: "I'm obviously very disappointed but I have had 12 good years and I am very thankful for that."

Lib Dem candidate, Mr Thornton, 65, said: "This is a delightful and surprising result".

Leaders of the Tory and Liberal-Democrat groups Margaret Eaton and Jeanette Sunderland romped home in their respective Bingley Rural and Idle wards with big majorities.

The Labour group retains a massive majority of 40, however, and its stalwarts - including Lord Mayor elect Tony Miller - were all re-elected with good majorities.

The new constitution of the Council is Labour 65, Conservatives 18, Liberal-Democrats seven.

In the Worth Valley victorious Conservative candidate Kris Hopkins credited his victory to widespread unhappiness with the education review. "People are very unhappy. I will fight to keep open Oldfield and to find a viable use for Bronte school."

In Craven no political party has overall control after the ruling Liberal Democrats lost three seats to the Tories leaving the two parties with 13 seats each on the district council. They will now have to thrash out who will assume overall power or whether the parties will opt for a coalition.

Council leader Councillor John Ryan said the Tories had only regained the seats which were expected following the Labour rout.

He said Labour still had a good, solid majority. "I don't think the schools review has necessarily affected the results. I think a lot of people have chosen to stay at home. There is still a lot of good feeling towards the Labour government. People think they are doing well so why bother to vote."

But leader of the Council's Tory group Councillor Margaret Eaton said the schools review and loss of green fields had been major issues, and people felt they had not been consulted enough. "It has been an absolutely fantastic evening for the Conservatives both in Bradford and nationally. They thought we were a lost cause, but we are on our way back."

Coun Sunderland said they were delighted with increased votes across the district and their decisive win in Baildon meant the Lib-Dems now held all the seats in the ward.

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