The Conservatives had a dismal day in the local council elections across the Tunbridge Wells Borough and Southborough was no exception.
The existing councillor for the Southborough North seat, Conservative Joe Simmons, was defeated by 24 votes.
The opposition parties are likely to form a new administration in Tunbridge Wells Borough to replace the Conservatives with the Conservative leader of the council offering to resign. Previously the Conservatives had stayed in key Borough council positions, even though they lost overall control at last year’s council elections.
The Conservatives have now lost both the Southborough North seats with Brendon Le Page (pictured below) taking the second seat for the Liberal Democrats after counting on Friday morning.
Although the Conservative’s Joe Simmons came out second, he fought a hard campaign with his count only reduced by 10 votes from when he was elected four years ago (see comparison below). However, the Liberal Democrats mobilised new support impressively, increasing their vote tally by 78 per cent.
|Brendon Le Page||Lib Dem||630||44%|
The vote figures four years ago were:
|Trevor Poile||Lib Dem||354||29%|
The Southborough Town Council area is divided into two sections for the Borough election. The other half of the town also voted, where Labour’s Alain Lewis (pictured below) comfortably held onto the seat he held already, taking 60% of the vote.
Labour holds all three Southborough and High Brooms seats.
|Yvonne Raptis||Lib Dem||243||14%|
The picture for the Conservatives was disastrous across the Borough, with the party dropping from 21 seats to just 13 seats, while the Liberal Democrats had 4 gains, becoming the largest party with 16 seats.
The other seats on the Borough Council are now held by the Tunbridge Wells Alliance with 9 seats, Labour 7 and Independents 3.
The Alliance had 3 gains and Labour 2 gains.
The council leader, Conservative Tom Dawlings retained his seat in Benenden and Cranbrook but his deputy David Scott was defeated in Culverden. 16 seats were up for election out of the 48 on the council.
CONSERVATIVES had 2 holds:
– Benenden & Cranbrook (Tom Dawlings)
– Pembury (Paul Barrington-King)
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS had 2 holds:
– St James (Rob Wormington)
– St John’s (Mark Ellis – by 4 votes ahead of Labour!)
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS had 4 gains:
– Broadwater (Jamie Johnson)
– Culverden (Martin Brice)
– Pantiles & St Marks (Gavin Barrass)
– Southborough North (Brendon Le Page)
TUN WELLS ALLIANCE had 2 holds:
– Park (Nick Pope)
– Speldhurst & BIdborough (Matthew Sankey)
TUN WELLS ALLIANCE had 3 gains:
– Brenchley & Horsmonden (Stephen Mcmillan)
– Hawkhurst & Sandhurst (Ellen Neville)
– Paddock Wood East (Suzie Wakeman)
LABOUR had 1 hold:
– Southborough & High Brooms (Alain Lewis)
LABOUR had 2 gains:
– Paddock Wood West (Ray Moon)
– Sherwood (Shadi Rogers)