Easy win for Conservative candidate in Lakeside by-election

Winning by-election candidate Benjamin Randles (left) with Cllr Trevor Jones.

Conservative candidate Benjamin Randles has been declared the winner of yesterday’s by-election in the Lakeside parish ward of Bradley Stoke.

Mr Randles, with 253 votes, finished well ahead of Derrick Powell (UKIP), with 97 votes, and Sarah Drake (Liberal Democrat), with 72.

The Labour Party did not put up a candidate.

With 1,972 people entitled to vote, the turnout was 21.8%.

The by-election was called after Charlotte Walker, last year’s Mayor of Bradley Stoke, resigned her seat because she no longer lives in the town.

It was the third by-election in Bradley Stoke since the May 2011 elections and is likely to have cost the town’s ratepayers around £4,800 to stage.

Winning candidate Benjamin Randles said:

“I would like to say thank you to all the people that came out and exercised their right to vote and to all those who voted for me. I would also like to thank all the Conservative Party members that have supported me throughout the campaign and worked tirelessly to help get me elected. I’m honoured that the people of Lakeside have put their trust in me and I look forward to working for them on the council.”

The result is likely to be seen as a disappointment for the local UKIP branch as their share of the vote dropped by about a third compared to the previous by-election in May.

Former Liberal Democrat councillor Jon Williams told The Journal:

“I am surprised that voters are still prepared to support the Conservatives in Bradley Stoke after the cuts they have made to community development and youth work in the town. These by-elections, caused by the resignation of Conservative councillors, cost the tax payers thousands of pounds, money that could well have been spent on our community.”

“The next full elections are due in 2015 and I hope that the current councillors (despite their shortcomings) will remain in place until then.”

More info: Lakeside by-election 2013 (The Journal)

Photo: Benjamin Randles (left) is congratulated by Conservative Party constituency chairman Cllr Trevor Jones after last night’s count.

The by-election result means that the political make-up of  Bradley Stoke Town Council has been restored to its state prior to Ms Walker’s defection from the Tories in May – with 12 Conservative members and three from UKIP.

UPDATE (15th October 2013):

Speaking to The Journal five days after the by-election, local UKIP councillor Ben Walker said:

“The local branch would like to thank all their support and voters for this by election and again demonstrate they are the opposition to the local Tory party.”

“It’s only a matter of time before UKIP Filton and Bradley Stoke change the shape of the local town councils and will continue to shine a light on the poor representation currently on offer to the electorate.”

“Derrick Powell would also like to add his thanks and will continue to support the community through his involvement with the Lakeside Residents’ Association and the local community speed watch team.”

Share this page:


  1. Jon Williams shouldn’t be too surprised given the Liberal support of biased and one-sided green bin stealth-tax consultation.

  2. Why get a quote from a has been councillor Jon Williams who was booted off the council by the electorate at the last elections. All you can expect is snide and derogatory remarks which is exactly what he gave. Surely a comment from the loosing candidate Sarah Drake would have been more appropriate. She is a very pleasant and affable person who does not have a chip on her shoulder.

    Also no mention of the fact that the UKIP candidate or supporters could be bothered to attend the count-how discourteous for their supporters.

  3. @Cllr John Ashe: Request for comment was sent to all three candidates plus one other contact in each of the respective parties. I had to use whatever I had back at the time of writing the article. Nothing received from UKIP. Absence of UKIP candidate and supporters at the count was reported on BSJ Twitter last night. Haven’t made any more of it here as there may be a good reason (e.g. illness). Should any official comment arrive from UKIP, it will be added to the article.

  4. Matt Hawkins, not sure the consultation on charging £36 a year for a green bin was a not issue at this by-election!

    The issue of cuts to local authority budgets is a big one and rather than cut essential services responsible parties look for ways in which small charges for “nice” services can support those that support less able residents.

    John Ashe, well what can you say. I’ve always been a thorn in your side and will continue to be so. Yes, I’m no longer a councillor, but I am an Alderman, recognised for my long service with South Gloucestershire Council.

    My remarks are not snide or derogaTORY, but the truth. I think if you look at the minutes of the Town Council you will see that you and your Conservative colleagues have reduce your spend on both community development and young people. But then you have never let facts get in the way of a good story have you.

    Sarah is a lovely person, but she works full-time and the Editors message had a tight timescale, hence my comment.

  5. Hi Alderman Jon Williams, with all respects to you, I feel you comment is not reflective of the good things Bradley Stoke is presenting.

    I consider you as a mature person, but unfortunately your comment about Ben Randles election was more or less like mocking at the electors. Why can’t you think that it is democracy in action?

    Even though you have a different political perspective, I always appreciate the good things you done to the community. At this local level, we don’t need to drag a heavy baggage of party politics.

    As you know, Town Councillors are just volunteering community workers and this Council has done its level best to deliver services without increasing the precepts for the last 4 years.

    Let us be fair. Hope we all could bury our unnecessary differences. May, the progress of our neighbourhood be our entire focus.

    Congratulations to the newly elected Councillor Ben Randles.

  6. Tom
    I know you and respect your point of view, but when I see decisions taken by the town council which, in my view cut really important services, should I remain silent, or when the opportunity arises make my views known?

    I hope Ben Randles works hard for the town and gives the voters a sense of achievement when they look back on who they elected. Only time will tell whether he will stand up for residents or be dragged down my some of the less community minded cllrs.

    I have done my bit for the town and don’t see myself going back on the town council anytime soon, but those who are there should be defending services and facilities and not trying to cut and dispose of them (as Cllr Hopkinson appears to be trying to do).

    So Tom, keep working hard for us all and I look forward to meeting you again at a local event.

Comments are closed.