Friday, 6 May 2011

Conservatives Maintain Control of West Lindsey District Council

The Conservatives have maintained their overall control of West Lindsey District Council, and have topped the poll of all twenty five wards.

In the first 'whole' council elections to take place in the district since 1999 the Conservatives emerged as the clear winners of the contest increasing their share of the vote by more than seven percentage points.

Almost 250 presiding officers and poll clerks worked throughout the day, as people cast their votes from 7:00am to 10:00pm.

Support staff also toured the district, which ranges from the Lincoln fringe villages of Saxilby, Nettleham and Fiskerton in the south to Gainsborough and Caistor further north.

Approximately 100 cross-party activists crowded around the rows of tables at the West Lindsey Leisure Centre’s sports hall, in Gainsborough to observe the count of the ballots.

The first box arrived just fifteen minutes after the polls closed, triggering a steady stream of ballot boxes.

The Counting process began at 11:00pm and following more than three hours of verifying the papers, the first result was announced at about 2.45am, with Conservative Ian Fleetwood holding his seat in the Bardney ward.

The former Conservative Group Leader said:
"I am feeling elated. The brilliant news for the taxpayer is we are now on a four-year election cycle and it will cut down on election expenses.
"I will still continue to serve them in the best way possible."
Above: Conservatives celebrate as Roger Patterson takes
Scampton ward from the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats had a bad night losing three councillors, including: Scampton, Gainsborough North and Gainsborough East. In Scampton ward Roger Patterson won by just ten votes - a considerable achivement having lost by one vote last year. In Gainsborough North and Gainsborough East Labour had elected it's first two councillors since Irene Tyson was elected in Gainsborough North in the local elections of Thursday, 2nd May 2002.

Council Leader Burt Keimach was quietly confident his party's track record and policies to make at least £1.5 million available to community projects would lead them back into power.

Despite losing £2.5 million of Government funding over the next two years, he said there would be no redundancies in 2011-12 and the authority was aiming to be entrepreneurial by inviting businesses to bid for £3 million.

This would be in the form of a "Dragon's Den-style" initiative, in which the Gainsborough-based authority receives a stake in a company in return for providing money.

The biggest, and saddest, shock came for the Conservative group when one of the council's most widely respected members lost her seat. Mrs. Meg Davidson was ousted by Cllr. Chris Darcel (Independent), who had led a bitter, personal campaign against the mild-mannered, hard working, councillor in the Fiskerton ward contest; losing by just 19 votes.

The Liberal Democrats vote was down considerably (8.62% points) as was the Labour vote, due to the limited number of candidates fielded. Independents came third in the poll with 7.58% of the vote.

The result of the election means that the Conservatives are in a commnding position to lead the authority for the next four years whilst the Liberal Democrats, Labour and various Independents will struggle to have a significant impact.

The final result is Conservatives 21, Liberal Democrats 11, Labour 2 and Independents 3.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was present at the count which lasted far longer than I had expected - in fact long after the sun had risen on Friday morning.
I was struck by the dedication of the returning agent's staff who worked extremely hard, concentrating on performing their tasks swiftly but accurately despite many of them having been awake for 24 hours!
May I express my personal regret that the splendid Meg Davidson (Fiskerton) was not re-elected. I know how hard she worked on behalf of the electorate and her successor will have to reach a high standard to match her dedication.