Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association are delighted that the number of Conservative Councillors on West Lindsey District Council have increased following local elections.
Conservatives were the only party to field a full slate of thirty-six candidates for local electors in the West Lindsey district. The Conservatives took an early lead with the re-election of Cllr. Stuart Kinch to the Torksey Ward, following an uncontested election. As the count began on Friday, 8th May a number of Conservative Councillors were re-elected: Cllr. Ian Fleetwood (Bardney) with a majority of 397, Cllr. Paul Howitt-Cowan (Hemswell) with a majority of 567 and Cllr. Lewis Strange (Kelsey Wold) with a majority of 726, initially. Then Cllr. Mrs. Jessie Milne (Lea) re-took her seat with a majority of 553, taking the Conservatives tally of seats on the council to five.
Then came the result from the new Caistor and Yarborough Ward, because of new boundaries created by combining the old Yarborough ward with the Caistor ward (except the parish of Swallow). Three incumbent councillors were fighting for two seats (two Conservatives and one Independent) together with two labour candidates and a UKIP. Cllr. Mrs. Angela Lawrence and Cllr. Owen Bierley, both Conservatives, were elected with majorities of 220 and 209 over Alan Caine, Independent who had served as a councillor for over a decade.
As more ballot papers continued to be counted through into the afternoon results came in for two of the three Gainsborough wards. In the Gainsborough South West ward two incumbent Liberal Democrat councillors were re-elected with reduced majorities. Whilst in the Gainsborough East ward, electing three seats, the Labour Party made a clean sweep taking all three seats, but with small majorities of 298, 242 and 185 over the Conservative candidate in 4th place.
The agents and candidates were called to look at the figures for the Cherry Willingham ward and a re-count was requested and undertaken.
The next seat to declare was Stow, where incumbent Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on the Council was re-elected with an increased majority of 342. Next came the closely contested, target seat, of Gainsborough North electing three seats. Cllr. Mrs. Gillian Bardsley and Cllr. Mrs. Sheila Bibb were elected with majorities of 356 and 73 respectively in first and third place with second place secured by the Liberal Democrat Deputy Mayor of Gainsborough with a majority of 254. The Conservatives were in the lead with 9 seat with Labour on 3 and the Liberal Democrats on 3.
Next was the result for the Nettleham Ward. Cllr. Giles McNeill was re-elected with an increased majority of 354 whilst a Liberal Democrat was elected to fill the ward's second seat.
As the day wore on the next seats to delcare were the three in the new Dunholme & Welton ward, created through the combination of the old Welton and Dunholme wards. Cllr. Steve England and Cllr. Malcolm Parish were elected in first and second place with miajorities of 1,048 and 892 respectively. The contest for third place was hotly fought, but an incumbent Independent was re-elected with a small majority of 232 over the third Conservative candidate. This result was followed by further results from Saxilby with the re-election of the two incumbents (one Conservative and one Liberal Democrat). Cllr. Mrs. Jackie Brockway was re-elected with a majority of 1,399 whilst the incumbent Liberal Democrat was re-elected with 215 over the second Conservative candidate.
Next was Scampton where Cllr. Roger Patterson was re-elected with an increased majority of 455 and then in Wold View Cllr. Tom Regis was successfully re-elected with a majority of 459 over the Labour candidate.
Then came the result from Cherry Willingham, following the recount, Cllr. Alexander Bridgwood and Cllr. Mrs. Anne Welburn were elected with majorities of 569 and 539 whilst the third seat was won by an incumbent Lincolnshire Independent with a majority over the Conservative third candidate of only 21.
Results came in quickly from the Sudbrooke ward with Cllr. Stuart Curtis being re-elected with a majority of 797 over the Labour candidate and in the Waddingham and Spital Ward Cllr. Jeff Summers was re-elected with a majority of 1,540 over the Liberal Democrat candidate. At this point it was clear that the Conservatives would be forming a majority administration on the Council with 19 Conservatives now elected out of 36 seats. The Liberal Democrats on 6, Labour on 3, Lincolnshire Independents 1 and Independents 1.
With all but two wards declared the room was eager for the final result to be declared. But it would be the early evening before a result for the new Market Rasen Ward, created from merging the old Market Rasen and Middle Rasen wards. Cllr. Hugo Marfleet, Cllr. John McNeill and Cllr. Thomas Smith, all Conservatives, were elected with majorities of 826, 777 and 429 over the next placed Liberal Democrat candidate. The result saw the party pick up two additional seats, one from the Liberal Democrats and one from an Independent.
Finally the result for the new Scotter and Blyton ward, created from the merger of the old Scotter and old Thonock wards, was announced. Cllr. Mrs. Pat Mewis and Cllr. Adam Duguid were elected for the Conservatives in first and third place with majorities of 616 and 145 respectively, whilst the incumbent Liberal Democrat came second with a majority of 178 over the incumbent Indpendent Chris Day.
The final distribution of seats and share of the vote was:
- Conservatives 24 (+4 seats) 40,628 (49.14%)
- Liberal Democrats 7 (-3 seats) 18,490 (22.16%)
- Labour 3 (+1 seat) 13,805 (16.70%)
- UK Independence Party 0 (n/c) 3,151 (3.81%)
- Lincolnshire Independent(s) 1 (-1 seats) 2,516 (3.31%)
- Independent(s) 1 (-2 seats) 4,089 (4.68%)