Archive - Friday, 12 May 2006
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Tories consolidate lead
THE Conservatives tightened their grip on Stroud District Council last week after a shock victory in Wotton-under-Edge increased the party's majority by one seat.
Incumbent Liberal Democrat councillor June Cordwell was beaten into second place by Christopher Routledge, who later reproved his predecessor for refusing to shake his hand.
It ends Mrs Cordwell's four-year tenure as a district councillor.
She said afterwards: "I'm not impressed. He has got no experience except chairing a golf club - that is it. He also made false claims that the Conservatives helped save the cinema and the Hopper because of the donations the district council made.
"I'm very disappointed. I made a positive contribution but will continue to work for the community."
Elsewhere, Timothy Frankau (Con) held onto his Dursley seat beating Geoff Wheeler (Lab) into second place. Janet Wood (Independent) was re-elected as Coaley and Uley's representative.
John Stanton replaced Rob Winter in Berkeley, who stood down as the Conservative candidate before the election, and the popular Lib Dem leader Dennis Andrewartha retained his seat in Cam West.
The results leave the Tories with 28 out of 51 council seats, much to the delight of party leader Chas Fellows, who safely defended his Chalford seat by 650 votes.
Cllr Fellows told the Gazette: "I view this as an excellent result throughout the Stroud district, particularly as we were defending 11 seats.
"I think it comes down to a combination of Labour's national failure and our local track record, which I hope has had an impact."
The Green party was also celebrating after securing the Over Stroud ward from Labour. Philip Booth's victory grants the party a fifth council seat - the same number as the beleaguered Liberal Democrats.