CELEBRATIONS for Conservatives in Test Valley were muted yesterday as, despite retaining control of the borough, a number of their councillors failed to hold on.

The party won in 24 of the council’s seats but were pegged back by the sea of yellow – 12 seats being won by the Liberal Democrats.

Council leader Cllr Phil North said: “Obviously it’s been a tough night – and it’s an understatement to say that the national situation hasn’t helped us.

“The ‘none of the above’ vote has shot up right across the country so it’s unsurprisingly that it has happened here too - which has meant that we’ve lost some incredibly good councillors.

“I’m pleased though that we’ve retained control of the council and we will crack on with our ambitious plans to rejuvenate our town centres.”

In Romsey and North Baddesley, Liberal Democrats took every seat, mayor Dorothy Baverstock retaining her Romsey Cupernham ward.

However, the Tories dominated in the Chilworth, Nursling and Rownhams ward where they took all three seats.