The Falmouth "Save the Rec" action group have claimed that their campaign was a major factor in the downfall of the Liberal Democrats in last Thursday's local elections.

The Liberal Democrats lost their overall majority on Falmouth town council and Carrick district council.

The Liberal Democrats lost two seats on Falmouth town council and Roger Hollingsworth, who stepped into the shoes of retiring councillor Roger Bonney, failed to get elected, resulting in the loss by the party of three seats overall.

At district level the Conservatives are now the largest single party with 19 seats, up from 11. The Lib-Dems - who previously had an overall majority with 29 councillors - lost 11 seats while the Independents have eight and Labour just one. For the first time there is a UKIP candidate on the council.

Dave Saunby, one of the leaders of the group which is eager to see the Falmouth Recreation Ground retained as an open space and not used for housing, claimed the stranglehold by the Liberal Democrats on the town council had been broken.

Mr Saunby said: "We fully understand that the rec' was not the only issue why the Lib Dems lost power, not just in the town, but also in Carrick, but we are firmly convinced that it was a major factor in their downfall. We predicted this several months ago but alas they marched on blindly."

He hopes that their campaign will be helped now that independents and UKIP have gained seats on the council.

The "Save the Rec" campaign carried out a leaflet drop in Boslowick and Trescobeas wards. "The majority of the Lib Dem led council were not listening to the 5,000 plus people, who have signed our petition, so we had to do something to make people fully aware of the situation, regarding the Falmouth Recreation Ground," said Mr Saunby.

"The people of Falmouth have responded magnificently to the call, especially in Boslowick and Trescobeas. So with the Lib Dems losing control of the council, we sincerely hope that this will be a new beginning for fair, honest and open debate in the council chamber."

He added: "We would like to thank the Falmouth residents who turned out in force to show support for our campaign by voting with their feet, by showing the Lib Dems that they were not happy about losing the town's historic recreation ground."

Maureen Davies, Liberal Democrat and Falmouth town councillor, said that the she would not comment specifically on the issue of the recreation ground.

She said: "The Liberal Democrats put out literature with a manifesto for what they wanted for the town's people in general . I will not make a comment on this particular issue but I will say that it was not what everybody wanted."

The loss of 11 Carrick district council seats by the Liberal Democrats means considerable change can be expected within the structure of committees which make many of the vital decisions concerning the way the district is run.

In Feock and Devoran, all three Tories romped home and out went the Liberal Democrat Gill Wilson and Lib-Dem newcomer Melissa Scholes, who sought to take the place of sitting Liberal Democrat Chris Warner.

The biggest change was the election of UKIP candidate Barrie Elliott in Boslowick, Falmouth, while Stephen Eva and former Tory Mike Varney were elected as independents.

In Mylor, the Liberal Democrat Chris Banks lost his seat to a Conservative and the ward now has two Tories and one independent councillor.

In the Trescobeas ward of Falmouth, Marcia Wengradt failed to retain a Liberal Democrat seat. The ward now has just one Liberal Democrat councillor, Allyson Biggins, the other councillor being Mrs Victoria Eva as an independent.

There was no change in the Boscawen ward in Truro where all three Lib-Dems were elected but out went their candidate in Carland and in came Jonathan McCulloch for the Conservatives.

In Kenwyn and Chacewater it was another clean sweep for the Tories and out went two Liberal Democrats in the three-seat ward. Returned for another term was John Dyer who has with him colleagues Ross Treseder and Miriam Richardson. Maurice Vella was returned in Moresk Ward for the Lib Dems along with independent Bert Biscoe, while in Mount Hawke another seat fell to the Tories. The two-seat ward elected Eugene Hope for the Conservatives and David Frank Came for the Lib-Dems. Former council leader Ken Husband did not stand.

One of the biggest shocks was in Newlyn and Goonhavern where long-standing Liberal Democrat Maggie Vale lost her seat. Her colleague Ken Yeo was elected for another term and he is joined by newcomer Jinny Clark for the Conservatives. Out went Liberal Democrat Doreen Lawrence from Perranporth although colleague David Hancock was re-lected. He is joined by Tory Stephen Burstow.

There was no change on the Roseland, Truro Tregolls, Truro Trehaverne and Gloweth or in St Agnes.

The outcome of last Thursday's poll is expected to send shock waves through the Liberal Democrat controlled county council whose members want to see the district councils abolished and the county run by a unitary authority.

Next week, the county council will discuss calls for a referendum on the unitary authority question after receiving demands from those wanting the public to have their say. The county council, which spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money in consultancy fees to prepare their case to a government committee, only obtained the views of a random 1,000 residents.

Meanwhile most of Cornwall's district councils, including Carrick and Kerrier, have already made a decision to seek the views of the public in an effort to strengthen their campaign not to go for a unitary authority.

Falmouth town council results (star denotes elected): Arwenack - Michael Carter (UKIP) 514; Oliver Cramp (Liberal Democrat) 733*; Maureen Davies (Liberal Democrat) 830*; Geoffrey Evans (Conservative) 821*; Diana Merrett (UKIP) 519*; Kim Moreton (Labour) 369; Marie Ryan (Conservative) 771*; Jeffrey Walker 469 Boslowick - Jenny Booth (Liberal Democrat) 402*; Barrie Elliott (UKIP) 441*; Stephen Eva (Independent) 816*; Barry Hobbins (Liberal Democrat) 273*; Roger Hollingsworth (Liberal Democrat) 309; Lesley Trenchard (Labour ) 306; Michael Varney (Independent) 843* Penwerris (No contest) - John Body*; Gerald Chin-Quee (Labour )*; David Noakes (Independent)*; David Sterratt (Liberal Democrat)* Trescobeas - Alan Ayres 402 *; Allyson-Jane Biggins (Liberal Democrat) 301*; Victoria Eva (Independent) 621*; Tracy Steel (Labour) 221; Marcia Wengradt (Liberal Democrat) 267.

Carrick district council local ward results : Falmouth Arwenack - Michael Carter (UKIP) 367; Oliver Cramp (Liberal Democrat) 562; Maureen Davies (Liberal Democrat) 676 *; Geoffrey Evans (Conservative) 658*; Diana Merrett (UKIP) 399; Kim Moreton (Labour) 289; Marie Ryan (Conservative) 589*; Nick Straw (Conservative) 479; Jeffrey Walker (UKIP) 298.

Falmouth Boslowick - Jenny Booth (Liberal Democrat) 313; Barrie Elliott (UKIP ) 368*; Stephen Eva (Independent) 742*; Paul Garvey (Conservative) 263; Barry Hobbins (Liberal Democrat) 233; Jeff Muir (Liberal Democrat) 181; Lesley Trenchard (Labour) 256; Michael Varney (Independent) 914.

Feock and Kea - Stepehen Chamberlain (Conservative) 1,175*; Tomas Hill (Conservative) 1,064*; Melissa Scholes (Liberal Democrat) 773; Elisabeth West (Conservative) 1,087*; Gill Wilson (Liberal Democrat) 902.

Mylor - Chris Banks (Liberal Democrat) 875; Norma Johns (Liberal Party - abolish council tax) 183; Tony Martin (Conservative) 1,174*; Chris Ridgers (Conservative) 970*; Christine Ryall (Liberal Democrat) 703; Judith Whiteley Independent 1,043*; Keith Winterson (Independent) 453 Falmouth Penwerris - John Body (Liberal Democrat) 514 *; Gerald Chin-Quee (Labour ) 467*; Shirley Hrydziuszka (Conservative) 394; David Noakes (Independent) 427; David Sterratt (Liberal Democrat) 487*.

Falmouth Trescobeas - Allyson-Jane Biggins (Liberal Democrat) 295*; Victoria Eva (Independent) 605*; Jayne Kirkham (Labour) 202. Marcia Wengradt (Liberal Democrat) 239.