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.”
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