Labour and Lib Dems increase to narrow Tory control of Sedgemoor

Labour Leader Mick Lerry who led a Labour revival but narrowly lost his own seat

As Tories collapsed across the country and across the county they managed to cling on here in Sedgemoor but with a heavily reduced majority.  Labour regained 2 seats in Bridgwater  with new candidates Hilary Bruce. knocking out out Tory Chairman Mike Cresswell from his Fairfax ward, and Alexia Bartlett, kicking out UKIP from Dunwear. Also new on the District scene is former Mayor Diogo Rodrigues who won the top placed seat in Dunwear.

Other Labour councillors new on district included Julie Cordiner in Victoria, Tony Heywood and Li Gibson in Eastover and Liz Leavy in Hamp.

A hard fought battle on the Hamp estate saw Labour’s Leigh Redman see off 2 former colleagues now calling themselves ‘independents’.

Labour’s Leigh Redman winning spectacuarly in Hamp

Experienced Labour councillors Kath Pearce & Brian Smedley held their Westover seats while Graham Granter and Alec Glassford brushed all opposition aside in Fairfax. However, Labour Leader Mick Lerry fell short by just 10 votes in the bitterly contested Victoria ward which nevertheless maintained its 1-1 Labour-Tory balance.

Labour across the District

Labour once again failed to make headroads outside of Bridgwater while nevertheless putting in strong campaigns with Ali Borman in West Polden, Liam Tucker in Huntspill, Gemma Shanahan in Cannington & Wembdon, Lianne Vessier in King’s isle, Julia Timothy in Axe Vale, Jean Buckler in Knoll, Graham McLelland in Wedmore, Amit Shah in Berrow and Nick Persaud in Cheddar all taking on the Tories single handedly.

Crucially Labour made little impact in Highbridge where Tory right winger Janet Keen won-despite her husband Roger standing against her as an independent, but as elsewhere in the Burnham area, Lib Dems made the running, but not enough gains to breakthrough the Tory lines. 2 Lib Dems grabbed seats in Highbridge, 1 in Burnham Central and 1 in Burnham North leaving just 4 Tories in the Burnham area. Corey Mitchel and Andy Ballard flew the Labour flag in Burnham while John Fones, Sue Park and Joji Mathew did the same in Highbridge.

Lib Dem gains

Maggy Layton single handed Quantocks campaigner

A hard fought battle in North Petherton saw Lib dems taking 2 of the tory seats there and knocking Tory Alan Bradford into 3rd place while Labours Linda Hyde failed in her bid to gra a seat there.  The Lib Dems also swept the Tories aside in Cheddar, grabbing 2 seats while a town independent Paul Fineran took the 3rd making Cheddar a Tory free zone for the first time since Sedgemoor was established.

Tory leader Duncan McGinty faced a scare in his East Polden lair when strong challenges from Stephen Oxbrow from Labour and an independent gave him a 1 vote majority over the pair of them while in Woolavington & Puriton, senior Tory Mark Healey held on in the face of  a strong challenge from Labour’s Chelsea Chadwick and Gary Tucker.

Special praise has to go to Labour’s Maggy Layton who took on Tory grandees Mike Caswell and Julie Pay single handedly on the blue Quantocks and gave them a fright with an energetic campaign and a sharp rise in the Labour vote.

The new Sedgemoor Council is 28 Tory 12 Labour 7 Lib Dem and 1 Independent giving the Tories a majority of just 8.

Final results for Sedgemoor District Council election              May 2nd, 2019

As at 3nd May, 2019 Previous composition


Conservative 28 35
Labour 12 10
Lib Dem 7 1
UKIP 0 2
Independent/no party 1 0
Total 48 48


The overall turnout was 34.56%


Axevale Ward (2 councillors) – ward turnout 44.96%


Conning, Stewart Frances Green Party Candidate 357
Godwin-Pearson, Graham Roger Conservative Party Candidate 513 elected
Hasler, Rosemary Joan Liberal Democrat 360
Scott, Liz Conservative Party Candidate 581 elected
Timothy, Julia Catherine Labour Party Candidate 158
Wardman, Ann Mary Liberal Democrat 287

Berrow Ward (1 councillor)

Baum, Richard Liberal Democrat 126
Grimes, Tony Conservative Party Candidate 348 elected
Shah, Amit Shantilal Labour Party Candidate 52

 Bridgwater Dunwear Ward (2 councillors) – turnout 25.20%

Aujla, Suria Conservative Party Candidate 222
Barnes, Pele Conservative Party Candidate 199
Bartlett, Alexia Christine Labour Party Candidate 233 elected
King, Lorna Ann Philippa Liberal Democrat 89
Rodrigues, Diogo Labour Party Candidate 344 elected
Scammell, Richard Gordon U K Independence Party 189

Bridgwater Eastover Ward (2 councillors) – ward turnout 22.08%

Bristowe, Susan May Conservative Party Candidate 168
Fraser-Howells, Jonathan Conservative Party Candidate 151
Gibson, Li Labour Party Candidate 359 elected
Heywood, Tony Labour Party Candidate 371 elected
Shaw, Toran Jorane Liberal Democrat 77

Brigwater Fairfax Ward (3 councillors) – ward turnout 20.13%


Baker Sarah Victoria Liberal Democrat 243
Bruce Hilary Joan Labour Party Candidate 355 elected
Cresswell Mike Conservative Party Candidate 312
Glassford Alex Labour Party Candidate 383 elected
Granter Graham John Labour Party Candidate 483 elected
Marsh Helen Julia Conservative Party Candidate 234
Nickolls Adrian David Liberal Democrat 321

Bridgwater Hamp Ward (2 councillors) – ward turnout 22.26%

Austen, Stephen Barry 201
Filmer, David George The Conservative Party Candidate 104
Leavy, Elizabeth Ann Labour Party Candidate 305 elected
Mills, Paul Francis Conservative Party Candidate 107
Moore, Adrian John 249
Redman, Leigh Paul Labour Party Candidate 382 elected

 Bridgwater Victoria Ward (2 councillors) – ward turnout 20.61%

Cordiner, Julie Marie Labour Party Candidate 338 elected
Duddridge, Lance John Conservative Party Candidate 328 elected
Harwood, John Conservative Party Candidate 259
Lerry, Mick Labour Party Candidate 318

 Bridgwater Westover Ward (2 councillors) – 25.68 % ward turnout

Asher, Michael Conservative Party Candidate 235
Lee, Roland Liberal Democrat 123
Lewis, Gareth Edwin Conservative Party Candidate 242
Nickolls, Antony Liberal Democrat 168
Pearce, Kathryn Elizabeth Labour Party Candidate 466 elected
Smedley, Brian David Labour Party Candidate 447 elected


Bridgwater Wyndham Ward (2 councillors) – ward turnout  38.51%


Johnstone, Peter Ian Liberal Democrat 260
Lilley, Rachael Helen Conservative Party Candidate 603 elected
Palaram, Inika Raine Labour Party Candidate 196
Ridewood, Stuart Adrian Labour Party Candidate 199
Slocombe, Gill Conservative Party Candidate 694 elected
Waghorn, Dean Liberal Democrat 237


Burnham Central Ward (3 councillors) – ward turnout 35.16%


Barber, Sue Conservative Party Candidate 553 elected
Clarke, Michael Independent 356
Elrick, Alasdair Scott Liberal Democrat 499
Gudka, Ganesh Liberal Democrat 491
Harvey, Phil Liberal Democrat 580 elected
Hendry, Alistair Conservative Party Candidate 546 elected
Miller Corey Labour Party Candidate 206
Rowley Edith Conservative Party Candidate 530





Burnham North Ward (3 councillors) – ward turnout 48.28%


Ballard, Andy Labour Party Candidate 316
Burnett, Cheryl Conservative Party Candidate 672
Clayton, Peter Laurence Conservative Party Candidate 876 elected
Facey, Mike Conservative Party Candidate 762 elected
Groves, Helen Liberal Democrat 702
Milner, Simonds Bev Liberal Democrat 685
Murphy, Mike Liberal Democrat 781 elected


Cannington and Wembdon Ward (2 councillors) ward turnout 43.24%


Beasley, Janice Joanna Somers Liberal Democrat 403
Bolt, Brian Conservative Party Candidate 733 elected
Dyer, Ian Conservative Party Candidate 898 elected
Shanahan, Gemma Grace Labour Party Candidate 297



Cheddar and Shipham Ward (3 councillors) ward turnout 30.01%


Downing, Peter Conservative Party Candidate 618
Fineran, Paul Robert Independent 728 elected
Hill, Dawn Conservative Party Candidate 649
Methley, Lisa Liberal Democrat 816 elected
Persaud, Nick Labour Party Candidate 311
Riches, Charlie Liberal Democrat 861 elected
Savage, Jeff Conservative Party Candidate 674
Shaban, Neil Liberal Democrat 671



East Poldens Ward (1 councillor)- ward turnout 42.09%


King, Camael Independent 207
McGinty, Duncan Conservative Party Candidate 288 elected
Oxbrow, Stephen Richard Labour Party Candidate 80



Highbridge and Burnham Marine Ward (3 councillors) ward turnout 25.15%


Bayliss, Nick Liberal Democrat 457 elected
Carey, Dawn Liberal Democrat 381
Fones, John Fenton Labour Party Candidate 246
Jones, Kathy Conservative Party Candidate 322
Keen, Janet Conservative Party Candidate 454 elected
Keen, Roger 345
Mathew, Joji Labour Party Candidate 212
Matthews, Alan Conservative Party Candidate 384 elected
Park, Sue Labour Party Candidate 246
Weavell, Victoria Liberal Democrat 246


Huntspill and Pawlett Ward (1 councillor) – ward turnout 33.50%


Tucker, Liam Labour Party Candidate 137
Woodman, John Charles Conservative Party Candidate 359 elected


Kings Isle Ward (2 councillors) ward turnout 34.10%


Betty, Anthony Conservative Party Candidate 762 elected
Perry, Liz Conservative Party Candidate 676 elected
Senior, Mike Liberal Democrat 476
Vessier, Lianne Michelle Labour Party Candidate 392


Knoll Ward (2 councillors) ward turnout 42.15%


Buckler, Jean Labour Party Candidate 143
Filmer, Bob Conservative Party Candidate 847 elected
Gilling, Andrew Conservative Party Candidate 704 elected
Gore, Tony Liberal Democrat 419
Pleydell-Pearce, Mae Liberal Democrat 535


North Petherton (3 councillors) – ward turnout 37.51%


Bradford, Alan Sydney Ernest Conservative Party Candidate 944 elected
Crow, Vanda Conservative Party Candidate 566
Hickmet, Sue Conservative Party Candidate 598
Hyde, Linda Labour Party Candidate 572
Revans, Bill Liberal Democrat 1447 elected
Wong, Gary Liberal Democrat 1064 elected


Puriton and Woolavington Ward (2 councillors) ward turnout 32.57%


Ashby, James Peter Liberal Democrat 382
Chadwick, Chelsea Labour Party Candidate 234
Crow, Barrie Conservative Party Candidate 462 elected
Healey, Mark Conservative Party Candidate 525 elected
Tucker, Gary Andrew Derek Labour Party Candidate 196


Quantocks Ward (2 councillors) – ward turnout 44.56%


Caswell, Michael Conservative Party Candidate 787 elected
Layton, Maggy Labour Party Candidate 495
Pay, Julie Conservative Party Candidate 790 elected



Wedmore and Mark Ward (2 councillors) – ward turnout  49.59 %


Costello, Polly Conservative Party Candidate 845 elected
Human, Will Conservative Party Candidate 726 elected
Keen, Jo Liberal Democrat 649
McLelland, Graham Paul Labour Party Candidate 117
Prior, Claire Rowena Liberal Democrat 563


West Poldens Ward (1 councillor) – ward turnout 42.13%


Borman, Alison Labour Party Candidate 227
Kingham, Stuart Conservative Party Candidate 458 elected




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