Conservatives big winners across Sedgemoor
PUBLISHED: 11:16 09 May 2011 | UPDATED: 17:20 09 May 2011
THE Conservatives were the big winners in Burnham and Highbridge in Thursday’s local elections, despite losing a healthy majority on the town council, while the Liberal Democrats were left with just two seats across the whole of Sedgemoor district.
And the party completed a good day at district level by taking all the seats across the wards of Axevale, Berrow, Huntspill and Pawlett, Knoll, Wedmore and Mark, and Cheddar and Shipham.
The Tories took five of the nine available district seats across Burnham and Highbridge, with the Liberal Democrats and independents taking two apiece.
The party completed a clean-sweep in Burnham North ward, with Peter Burridge-Clayton, Neville Jones and Ken Smout all polling more than 1,000 votes.
Although Dennis Davey and Michael Clarke also squeezed in, in Burnham Central ward, the third seat was surprisingly taken by the Liberal Democrat’s Kate Lawson, who had 54 more votes than her nearest challenger, fellow Lib Dem Phil Harvey, and 84 more than the Conservatives’ Paul Herbert.
Of the 11 candidates running for election in Highbridge and Burnham Marine ward, Liberal Democrat Joe Leach overcame the disappointment of losing his town council seat by coming top of the poll with 782 votes, while independents Mike Mansfield and Chris Williams were also elected, with 705 and 543 votes respectively.
Despite their successes at district level, the Conservatives lost out in Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, with the party seeing its 13 councillors cut to nine, now level with the Liberal Democrats, who doubled their number of seats from three to six, and independents.
Councillor Burridge-Clayton, leader of the Conservative group in Burnham and Highbridge, said after Friday’s count: “I would like to thank all the candidates for putting their names forward; it is sometimes a thankless task and their willingness is much appreciated.
“I look forward to working with the new council.
“On a personal note I am obviously delighted with the result; I have enjoyed serving our community for many years and I look forward to serving them for many years to come.
“Overall I think it was a good result for the Conservative party candidates.
“I am delighted that the district council is still Conservative-controlled as there is still a lot of work to do in these difficult times ahead.”
After her election to the district council, Councillor Lawson said: “I want to see better investment in Highbridge, we need more businesses to set up and create jobs, and I can’t wait to get started on the real work.
“We need to see lots of improvements across the area, such as more play areas for children, and more help for elderly members of the community, and that is what my job will be about now that I have been elected.”