In Somerset we were meant to have a County Council election. However, these were cancelled as the battle for which ‘unitary’ outcome hots up and sitting county councillors are granted an extra year while people think about it. Not a very democratic solution to say the least. However, apart from the Police and Crime Commission election, which everyone had a ballot for but only 30% of us chose to use, there were a string of other elections across the county -largely reflecting the National trend of Tory wins. But here are some of them and their consequences.
Tory gain in Burnham
With no Labour candidate standing in the Burnham Central by election for the town council, caused by the resignation of a Lib Dem, it was a close fight between Tory and Lib Dem. In the end the Tories won and grabbed the seat strengthening their control of Burnham and Highbridge Town Council.
Lib Dem Hold in Somerset West and Taunton
A brave intervention by Labour’s Sam Booker in the Taunton area district council by election in a Lib Dem seat, where their candidate had spoken against a hostel for the homeless, failed to make a major impact as Tories and Lib Dems went head to head with the Lib Dems triumphing and maintaining their strong grip on SWaT council. Sam said “it was a fantastic learning experience and we achieved what we set out to do – gain experience and data to implement and better refine strategies that will help us win in Taunton Deane”
Labour narrow miss in Mendip
The St Thomas ward of Wells saw a Labour v Tory battle for Mendip District Council, currently run by the Lib Dems (but who failed to get their candidate on the ballot paper). The outcome was a close call with the Tories grabbing the seat despite a strong fight by Labour’s Adam Fyfe
‘Shepton Future’ Grouping grab 4
In a 3 way fight on Shepton Mallet Town Council the grouping Shepton Future-Working Together gained 4 seats while the Lib Dems gained the 5th. SFWT are Shepton’s attempt at a ‘Frome Independent’ type group. This brings the balance at Shepton to 8 Future Shepton 5 Lib Dem 1 Con 1 Ind 1 Non alligned
Glastonbury Greens suffer hit
Green control of Glastonbury town council took a hit this week when the by election called in the wake of the death of a former Green mayor led to a Tory gain. Labour didn’t stand and the Lib Dems forgot to put their party name on the application form. Also on the ballot paper was Emma King, campaigner for the Wells hospital, standing as an independent.
Labour City hopefuls in Wells
3 Labour candidates sought election on Wells City Council, however despite respectable results it was 3 Tories and an independent that broke through. In Central ward the 2 places went to a Tory and a Wells independent ,in St Cuthbert it was a Tory and again in St Thomas. Congratulations to the Labour trio Jennifer Williams, Eileen Webber and Adam Fyfe for a good campaign.