HARROGATE: Six votes make all the difference in cliff-hanger contest

The Tories are back in overall control of Harrogate Council again after winning back one seat and holding another by just six votes in a cliff-hanging victory.

The Liberal Democrats gained one, giving them 22 seats. The Tories gained one to give them 28 seats. In Ripon, Independents lost two, taking them down to four seats.

A council spokesman said: "So we have a Tory controlled council again. It has been Tory administration for a number of years."

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The Lib Dems lost control of the authority in 2003 when two of their number crossed the floor to the Tories, he added.

But Harrogate was in minority Tory control last year after a by-election.

The Tory gain was in Ripon's Minster ward where Conservative Stuart Martin, took the seat from the Independent Pauline McHardy.

For Coun Martin it marked a return to the authority after losing at a previous election.

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The Lib Dems gain was in High Harrogate, where Amanda Jane Russell replaced Tory Jayne Brotherton, who stood down after four years.

As well as losing Ripon Minster, the Independents suffered a second defeat in Ripon Spa. David Parnaby, the former sitting member decided not to seek re-election, leaving the way open for Tory Alan Skidmore to take the seat.

The conservatives had a close shave in Low Harrogate, a Tory ward where Richard Cooper was standing down. The Tories held the seat by just six votes.