Labour strengthened its iron grip on Sandwell Council winning 23 of 24 seats available in this year’s local elections.

Following the national trend the Liberal Democrats took a beating at the polls and the Conservatives in Sandwell also had a poor showing.

Bob Price was elected for Labour in Blackheath with an overwhelming majority as was Elaine Giles in Oldbury.

Both candidates won handsomely in two horse races with the Tories.

Veteran councillor Ann Shackleton beat Conservative Alan Bowler in the bitter battle for Cradley Heath and Old Hill.

Cllr Shackleton said: “The majority was over a thousand which is fantastic. It was a hard fought fight but I am glad the people of Cradley Heath and Old Hill voted for me and my record as councillor.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in my campaign and everyone who voted for me.”

Labour’s Barbara Price also won at a canter in Rowley ward.

Labour leader and leader of Sandwell Council Cllr Darren Cooper was delighted with the results.

He said: “This was the best opportunity the Conservatives have had for years in Sandwell with 22 of our seats up for grabs and they won none of them.

“This shows that the people of Sandwell are happy with the way Labour is running the council and also shows they are worried about the Coalition and their agenda of cuts.”

Sandwell Conservative leader Ray Nock said: “We were only defending one sitting councillor and I am pleased to say they have been re-elected by the people.

“But sadly local politics has been affected by national issues which were caused by the Labour Party.”

And Councillor Nock blasted former Conservative leader Tony Ward who put up candidates in marginal wards under the banner of Traditional Conservatives.

He said: “Despite former local Conservative councillors forming a break away party against us I feel we have had a successful election.”

In Quinton ward in Birmingham, Labour’s John Clancy won the contest, but the city remains in control of the Conservative and Liberal Coalition.