Reaction to local election results

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Reaction to local election results Reaction to local election results

TEENAGER Joe Harris led the mighty charge of the Liberal Democrats in the Cotswolds as the party bucked the national trend and made significant inroads into the district council in last week's elections.

While disgruntled voters across the UK punished the Liberal Democrats for the coalition government, Cotswold voters seized the opportunity to reduce Tory influence at CDC.

The fiercely campaigning Liberal Democrats significantly closed the gap on the ruling Conservatives last Thursday as they more than doubled the number of their seats from five to 12.

Their biggest success came in Cirencester, where the Lib Dems bagged nine of the 10 available seats.

The Independents also reaped a bumper crop with five seats, an increase of three from the last election.

The Tories, however, despite suffering a 10-seat loss, still comfortably held on to a majority, bagging 27 seats of the 44 available.

Among the shock oustings were Cirencester mayor Geoffrey Adams, who lost his Cirencester Park seat, and in Fairford former mayor Chris Roberts lost her CDC seat.

Lib Dem leader Paul Hodgkinson, who retained his Churn Valley seat by 165 votes, said he was delighted with the results and was proud of all the candidates.

"As a party this is the first step in restoring proper democracy into CDC," he said.

"I feel vindicated in standing up to the CDC administration and our party, including myself, has been given the mandate to continue asking difficult questions and working towards a better Cotswolds."

Joe, just18 years, three months and five days when elected – believed to be the youngest district councillor in the country – said he was elated to be elected to Cirencester Park ward, along with fellow Lib Dem Lee Searles.

Such was his success that he received a personal call of congratulation from party leader Nick Clegg, whom he met when the deputy prime minister came to Cirencester for a question and answer session.

Joe told the Standard: "I am proud that people have put their trust in me and I promise to return that favour. On the doorstep people would tell me they felt disengaged with current Tory councillors.

"We need more young people on the council so I hope this sets a precedent."

One surprising result saw Independent candidate for Fairford, Mark Wardle, elected to CDC ahead of long-serving Conservative councillor Chris Roberts.

He said: "This is my chance to stand up for what is right for Fairford. Previous councillors tended to vote for the Conservative group, rather than what would benefit Fairford.

"The town now has someone on the council who can focus on the town rather than a political allegiance."

Tory leader Lynden Stowe, who retained his Campden Vale seat, said the results were not a shock because the party had been at the end of negative publicity recently.

"I am not going to deny that the Lib Dems fought an effective, albeit quite negative, campaign in Cirencester," he said. "We do, however, have a clear mandate from the voters, a clear majority of the seats and, looking forward, all my colleagues are keen to get on with the really important work of the next four years."

Nick Clegg's pledge to transform the voting system took a pounding in the Cotswolds, as elsewhere, with voters in the referendum returning a resounding No to AV.

In total, 33,948 Cotswold residents turned out to vote in the referendum with 72 per cent of those - 24,367 residents - voting No to the Alternative Vote. Just 9,462 voted yes.

The overall national picture also showed a crushing defeat for the Lib Dems as 68 per cent of voters voted No.

The full list of candidates are: Ampney-Coln: Sir Edward Horsfall (Con)

Avening: Jim Pasons (Con)

Beacon Stow: David Penman (Con) Merryl Phillips (Con)

Blockley: Barry Dare (Con)

Bourton-on-the-Water: Sheila Jeffery (Con) Len Wilkins (Con)

Campden Vale: Mark Annett (Con) Sue Jepson (Con) Lynden Stowe (Con)

Chedworth: David Broad (Con)

Churn Valley; Paul Hodgkinson (Lib Dem)

Beeches: John Burgess (Con) John Hughes (Lib Dem)

Chesterton: Deryck Nash (Lib Dem) Margaret Rickman (Lib Dem)

Cirencester Park: Joe Harris (Lib Dem) Lee Searles (Lib Dem)

Stratton/Whiteway: Patrick Coleman (Lib Dem) Andy Lichnowski (Lib Dem)

Watermoor: Jenny Hincks (Lib Dem) Gary Selwyn (Lib Dem)

Ermin: Nicholas Parsons (Con)

Fairford: Raymond Theodoulou (Con) Mark Wardle (Ind)

Fosseridge: Michele Jeffery (Con)

Grumbolds Ash: Carolyn Nicolle (Con)

Hampton Ward: David Fowles (Con)

Kempsford-Lechlade: Sandra Carter (Con) Sue Coakley (Ind)

Moreton-in-Marsh: Robert Dutton (Con) Rod Hooper (Ind)

Northleach: Chris Hancock (Ind)

Rissingtons: Venetia Crosbie-Dawson (Con)

Riversmeet: Carole Topple (Con)

Sandywell: Robin Hughes (Con)

Tetbury: Barry Gibbs (Con) Diana Hicks (Con) Stephen Hirst (Ind)

Thames Head: John Birch (Con)

Three Rivers: Dominic Collier (Con)

Water Park: Clive Bennett (Con) Esmond Jenkins (Lib Dem) Juliet Layton (Lib Dem)

Comments (10)

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11:14am Thu 12 May 11

David.C.Broad says...

At the end of the day compared to 2003 when I was elected Conservatives are up 3 seats, Lib Dems up 4, Independents down 7.
Possibly of more interest are the attendance lists for 2010/11 in the 17th May agenda. People like Chris Roberts with 100% attendance and Tony Curry, 33 meetings out of 35 were not re elected while the L/D member who attended only 6 formal meetings was welcomed back by a grateful electorate.
Maybe its good PR that gets one elected, not hard work.
At the end of the day compared to 2003 when I was elected Conservatives are up 3 seats, Lib Dems up 4, Independents down 7. Possibly of more interest are the attendance lists for 2010/11 in the 17th May agenda. People like Chris Roberts with 100% attendance and Tony Curry, 33 meetings out of 35 were not re elected while the L/D member who attended only 6 formal meetings was welcomed back by a grateful electorate. Maybe its good PR that gets one elected, not hard work. David.C.Broad

4:25pm Thu 12 May 11

Council Taxpayer says...

David, you have identified the big mistake made by rank and file Tory councillors who allowed the cabinet to lead them by the nose on almost every flawed decision in the past few years.
The plodders, who kept their heads down, toed the party line, seldom raised their heads above the parapet and dutifully sat through turgid committee meetings, were never likely to get much recognition from the electorate.
In this fast moving digital age, politics is a game played out in the media spotlight where every council taxpayer expects and deserves to know what is going on in the dusty corridors of power.
We elect our councillors to be our eyes and ears in local government, to ask the difficult questions, hold those in authority to account and expose incompetence or worse when they see it.
Remember that there are plenty of schools where the dunces still get top marks for attendance.
David, you have identified the big mistake made by rank and file Tory councillors who allowed the cabinet to lead them by the nose on almost every flawed decision in the past few years. The plodders, who kept their heads down, toed the party line, seldom raised their heads above the parapet and dutifully sat through turgid committee meetings, were never likely to get much recognition from the electorate. In this fast moving digital age, politics is a game played out in the media spotlight where every council taxpayer expects and deserves to know what is going on in the dusty corridors of power. We elect our councillors to be our eyes and ears in local government, to ask the difficult questions, hold those in authority to account and expose incompetence or worse when they see it. Remember that there are plenty of schools where the dunces still get top marks for attendance. Council Taxpayer

5:22pm Thu 12 May 11

Crispin Mount says...

o sono di qualita che, vincendo uno di quelli, tu abbia a temere del vincitore, o no
o sono di qualita che, vincendo uno di quelli, tu abbia a temere del vincitore, o no Crispin Mount

6:47pm Thu 12 May 11

Alvin Sepert says...

Pink Champagne and Castlemain
Odd bins won't take it back again,
stunned disbelief as Lib Dems hear
they're stuck with twenty crates of beer.

The marquee and the band were booked
at the posh hotel down by the brook
For Fridays celebration bash,
quickly called off when they got thrashed

But over in the Tory camp.
they wring their hands till they get cramp
And agonise o'er, would you know it.
Who will be their new group poet.

The voice of Tory poetry
You can bet your life it won't be me
'cause its often said there's no one worse
at poetry, than Al Sepert.
Pink Champagne and Castlemain Odd bins won't take it back again, stunned disbelief as Lib Dems hear they're stuck with twenty crates of beer. The marquee and the band were booked at the posh hotel down by the brook For Fridays celebration bash, quickly called off when they got thrashed But over in the Tory camp. they wring their hands till they get cramp And agonise o'er, would you know it. Who will be their new group poet. The voice of Tory poetry You can bet your life it won't be me 'cause its often said there's no one worse at poetry, than Al Sepert. Alvin Sepert

9:56pm Thu 12 May 11

esse quam viderie says...

David, your figures neglect to mention the five "Condependents", including yourself, who came out as Tories after the 2003 election.

Just remember that it was your once great leader, Benjamin Disraeli, who said "Lies, **** lies and statistics".

It seems that nothing changes in the Conservative party.
David, your figures neglect to mention the five "Condependents", including yourself, who came out as Tories after the 2003 election. Just remember that it was your once great leader, Benjamin Disraeli, who said "Lies, **** lies and statistics". It seems that nothing changes in the Conservative party. esse quam viderie

10:23pm Thu 12 May 11

David.C.Broad says...

Not a Condependent, rather an Independent who saw the light!
Not a Condependent, rather an Independent who saw the light! David.C.Broad

9:24am Fri 13 May 11

esse quam viderie says...

Not a Condependent, rather an Independent who saw ............ the chance for an extra allowance.
Not a Condependent, rather an Independent who saw ............ the chance for an extra allowance. esse quam viderie

6:17pm Fri 13 May 11

Olly Cromwell says...

The Tories stood on a platform of foolishly promising zero rises in CDC Council Tax for the next 4 years (even though inflation is clocking in at 5%) which either means 20% cuts or Ryanair type charges for things like public loos -up from 20p to 50p, green waste licence - up from £30 to £36, visiting Fosse Cross £1.20, libraries forget them. Of course, Council Tax on CDC might freeze but what about the far larger chunk associated with GCC?...on that the Tories were strangely silent. Cons con.
The Tories stood on a platform of foolishly promising zero rises in CDC Council Tax for the next 4 years (even though inflation is clocking in at 5%) which either means 20% cuts or Ryanair type charges for things like public loos -up from 20p to 50p, green waste licence - up from £30 to £36, visiting Fosse Cross £1.20, libraries forget them. Of course, Council Tax on CDC might freeze but what about the far larger chunk associated with GCC?...on that the Tories were strangely silent. Cons con. Olly Cromwell

12:02am Wed 18 May 11

JGH says...

Teenagers being voted in?

They'll be giving women the vote next!!
Teenagers being voted in? They'll be giving women the vote next!! JGH

7:43am Wed 18 May 11

J0hn Hunt says...

A very good result, by Formula one standards, a podium in fact, a silver, nothing to be ashamed of, cheer up 40 candidates including Independent Independent quasi Lib Dems 12 seats that's a 30% success rate. Well done indeed. A great charge, bit like the one with the light brigade with the Balaclavas, heroic, brave, ultimately pointless.
I like the reference in nthe other CDC story to the chair of O+S being like a pussycat sitting on the leaders lap, shapely long haired blonde Sandra Carter is chair of O+S Paul, no wonder you wanted to be leader.......
A very good result, by Formula one standards, a podium in fact, a silver, nothing to be ashamed of, cheer up 40 candidates including Independent Independent quasi Lib Dems 12 seats that's a 30% success rate. Well done indeed. A great charge, bit like the one with the light brigade with the Balaclavas, heroic, brave, ultimately pointless. I like the reference in nthe other CDC story to the chair of O+S being like a pussycat sitting on the leaders lap, shapely long haired blonde Sandra Carter is chair of O+S Paul, no wonder you wanted to be leader....... J0hn Hunt

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