THE Tory leader of Castle Point Council said he wants the negativity between parties to stop after the party’s catastrophic national loses in the local elections.

The Conservatives managed to hold on to power at the council in Thursday’s elections although it did lose two seats to the Canvey Island Independence Party.

The Tories now have 25 councillors with the Canvey Island Independence Party having 16.

Ray Howard, a Tory councillor for Canvey Island West for 51 years, was one of those who was defeated.

CIIP leader Dave Blackwell called on the council leaders to listen to message from Canvey voters. He said: “I think it was a great success for us. We had a completely clean sweep across the island and took all ten seats on the town council as well.

“They [the Tories] have got to realise the people of Canvey have chosen the party that wants to represent them and it isn’t Conservative.

“They are the largest party, but they have got to listen to the people with issues concerning Canvey Island.

“This is our 15-year anniversary, we have all seats on Canvey bar one, that’s around a 40,000 population which wants a party to represent them.”

He added: “We don’t care who we work with, as long as it’s for the benefit of the community. That’s what being a borough council is all about, working together.”

Norman Smith, Tory council leader, said Canvey residents “will always be consulted”.

He said: “We expected to lose one of the Canvey Island seats, as we only had a majority of 20 votes before but the truly sad result was for Ray Howard.

“He gave so much and put his soul into the island for 51 years, he was so reliable and delivered so much for the island through the projects, the campaigns and his tenacity. I think that will be a loss that will be felt by residents.

“We have always treated Castle Point as a borough, we always consult Canvey residents and we have things planned for the island, with the new Paddocks building and the seafront regeneration.

“I have offered the olive branch to Dave Blackwell to meet, and to stop the negativity so we can be closer.”

n Full election results: Pages 12 to 19