TWO veteran councillors lost their seats in a result which left the one-time Labour stronghold of Barnsley with a majority of only three.
Council Leader Steve Houghton blamed "strong personal attacks" by the Barnsley Independent Group for ousting Alan Schofield and Alex Vodden, who each have decades of experience.
The situation leaves the Labour group with what Mr Houghton described as a "working majority" and he said: "It could have been worse and it could have been better.
"It is a Labour council with a working majority and we will continue to move Barnsley forwards.
"We hope to go into next year's elections in a much stronger position."
He said there had been "strong personal attacks" on the two serving councillors who lost their seats, "As strong as I have ever seen in local politics in Barnsley and that had an effect."
The BNP fielded more candidates than ever before in the town and although none was successful, those standing in the Central, Dearne North and Darton West wards secured enough support to take second place.
The election means Labour now hold 33 seats, with the Barnsley Independent Group controlling 20, Conservatives five, Lib Dems two and non-aligned councillors three.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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