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LOCAL ELECTIONS: Winners and losers ward by ward
Here is the full list and first interviews with the winners and losers of last night's local election in Swindon.
THE former Labour leader Derique Montaut retained his seat in the Central ward with a landslide victory.
He beat his nearest rival, Conservative candidate Paul Gregory, by 1,358 votes and claimed a 64 per cent share overall.
Outspoken during his time as opposition leader, Coun Montaut will again take his place alongside fellow Labour councillors Bob Wright and Junab Ali.
He was in high spirits after his win and said: “I’m very, very pleased with the outstanding result and I feel it is a massive vote of confidence to the Labour group and the work we have done in the Central ward.
“I think for the first time Conservative areas of the ward, such as Rushy Platt and the Railway Village have voted Labour quite definitively.
“It was a good result and it is probably a reflection of how local members are working with the community.”
MICHAEL Dickinson won a seventh year as a Conservative councillor in Freshbrook and Grange Park , albeit with a slightly reduced majority.
He was 274 votes ahead of Labour’s Neil Heavens when the polls closed with a 45 per cent share of the vote.
The tension was obvious as the ward was the first to be settled and afterwards Coun Dickinson appeared relieved.
He said: “I’m delighted and I would like to thank residents of Freshbrook and Grange Park for their continued support and for voting for me.
“I want to continue with policies we have been following up to now and carry on with the excellent local activities.
“I will also continue to fight any proposed development in the west.
“As a governor of Greendown School I would also like to keep the standards of education there getting better, as they have been over the past few years.”
IN A close-fought battle, Labour’s Jennifer Millin held off a Conservative challenge to retain the seat she won in last year’s Moredon by-election.
Finishing just 51 votes ahead of Toby Elliott, the result was only decided after a recount.
The figures show the Tories managed only to dent Coun Millin’s already narrow majority of 132, which she gained while winning Tory Stephanie Exell’s vacated seat in November.
Afterwards she paid tribute to her opponent for his campaign.
“I’m very happy - it was a good contest against Toby and he’s a very nice candidate. But I’m glad I won,” she said.
“I have done quite a lot since I came in on the by-election and this year is going to be busy. My priorities are to keep the library open and support it in any way I can.
“I also want to tidy up the ward. It has been neglected and I’m going to go in there and make Moredon a nicer place to live.
“It is a nice place already and we ave some lovely people so I’m proud and privileged that they have given me the chance to help them for the next year.”
THE most tightly contested seat of the night was that of former Tory-turned-Labour councillor Steve Wakefield.
After the Conservatives demanded a recount, Coun Wakefield was declared the winner by just 32 votes over Daniel Bissex with 978 to his 946.
A former mayor of the town, he will now serve his ninth year as a representative of the residents of Toothill and Westlea and he thanked them for their votes.
“I think this was a very hard-fought campaign and when it’s that close there is always some anxiety. It’s never in the bag until its declared,” he said.
“I would like to thank the people of Toothill and Westlea for their continued support. I always put them first and will continue to do so. I’m also very grateful to my colleagues.
“I want to be able to carry on getting the roads repaired and defending public services. We should ensure people are getting the service they are paying for with their council tax.
“When money is tight people want the essential services maintained like having their bins emptied, their grass cut, fly tipping dealt with and graffiti removed.”
The Tory won 48 per cent of the ballot, beating Labour and the Co-operative Party’s Geraint Day by 1,079 votes.
He said he was looking forward to tackling local issues.
“I’m very pleased to be one of the new Conservative councillors elected,” he said.
“I think the result shows that the existing team in the ward has been appreciated by the people of Wroughton and Chiseldon.
“The reason I wanted to stand was because some of the things I have seen from the outside that the authority is doing I feel can be improved.
“Some of the concerns of local residents include the bus services during evenings and directly to the hospital, dedicated cycle-ways, crime and the impact of the continued expansion of Swindon.
“I think there is some smaller stuff that gets missed in the bigger picture.
“People have recognised that we have achieved results.”
FIONUALA Foley won a decisive landslide victory to guarantee her a 12th year as councillor for Old Town and Lawn .
The former cabinet member, who announced she was stepping down last month, took around 52 per cent of the vote in what was one of the highest turnout areas.
Of the 44.39 per cent who cast their ballot, Coun Foley won 2,249 votes - beating her nearest rival, Labour’s Cindy Matthews, by 1,209 votes.
“I’m delighted - it feels great to get such a large majority and over 50 per cent of the vote which is the most important thing,” she said.
“We have had some difficult issues to face and this result is quite a good testament to the work I do with my colleagues. This is really a team result.
“I’m pleased turnout was so good and I will continue to serve my residents. I think our priorities are ensuring we have got enough education facilities in the Old town and Lawn area.
“We have pressure on our school places and I feel education is the cornerstone of what a local authority must do.”
Finishing 563 votes in front of Labour’s Nigel Chalk, Coun Holland captured 51 per cent of the vote in the ward with a total of 1,609 votes.
After his victory was declared he said: “I will continue to work hard all year round and am delighted I have the opportunity to serve the residents of Stratton St Margaret again.
“I would ask people to get in touch or visit my monthly surgeries if they have any issues that I can help with.
“I will continue to prioritise and work to ensure St. Margaret is kept clean and tidy and remains a well-regarded, sought-after area of Swindon.
“I will continue to campaign against inappropriate building plans and do everything I can to ensure high quality developments.
“I also want to improve education in the area and keep council tax as affordable as possible.”
If there was any first time nerves for Coun Ellis they were quickly dispelled when she learnt she had achieved a comfortable majority of 819 votes over closest contender Tim Page, of Labour, Finishing with 1,766 in total she enjoyed a 55 per cent share of the polls and said she was keen to fill her predecessors shoes.
She also said the vote paid testament Mr Dobie’s 11 years service and she looked forward to joining the two other Tories in the ward.
“I’m thrilled that the residents have elected me,” she said.
“This is where the hard work begins and I really look forward to working with Rex [Barnett] and David [Renard].
“It is my first time in politics but I work with Robert Buckland and have been involved in politics since 2008.
“I live in Abbey Meads now but I lived in Haydon Wick for many years and I feel I have a good grip on the issues in the area - things like flood alleviation, work on the roads and school places.
“This result is really because the team has been brilliant and I would like to acknowledge the tremendous commitment Ian has made over his 11 years as councillor.”
Coun Howard won with more than 50 per cent of the vote and a majority of 732 votes.
Speaking after the announcement she said: “I am ecstatic. I wasn’t confident going in, like many candidates, but I’m really pleased to have the support of the community.
“It shows that I must be doing something right and I am thankful to all the people who went out and voted.
“I like to think people went out and voted because I do personal calls and I do listen to people.
“You don’t know how many people will vote for you so it is nice that so many people went out and voted.”
Coun Howards’ main priorities now she has been re-elected are youth activity and anti-social behaviour.
She has also promised to continue fighting to sort out the town’s potholes and says she is passionate about children’s services.
NICKY Sewell was pushed close in Eastcott as she defended the Lib Dem seat.
Labour candidate Chris Watts fought a valiant battle, but the Lib Dem candidate held on to the seat by 122 votes.
The seat was previously held by Lib Dem Martin Wiltshire who stepped down and Coun Sewell said she was delighted to be supported.
“I’m thrilled that the Lib Dem supporters have come out and recognised the work we do throughout the year and not just at election time,” she said.
“The people have seen the hard work we do, which is really good for the ward.”
The 29-year-old lives in the ward and is the chairman of the area’s independent residents association and has said she will continue to work hard for the residents.
She hopes to change the residents parking to make it cheaper, getting a second crossing for Kingshill Road and ensuring the demolition of the old college site.
LABOUR had a comfortable victory in the Western Ward as Des Moffatt got more than double the votes of his nearest rival Coun Moffatt was the clear winner with 1,692 votes, beating young Tory hopeful, 21-year-old John Haines, by 940 votes.
"I am thrilled it is a very good result for Labour," he said.
"I am privileged to be sent back again and will do what is best for the area.
“Next year I think will be the turn for Labour I hope to take control and put an end to some of the day dreaming.
“I want the council to go back to doing the ordinary things that people need doing like emptying the bins and looking after the elderly rather than daydreaming about Wi-fi and canals through the town centre.”
Coun Moffatt, who has lived in Ferndale Road for more than 40 years, wants to continue the campaign to get the northern relief road built and to get a better solution to the proposed changes to the Whale Bridge roundabout.
In a dramatic swing, Ellen Osa took the Conservative held seat from Mr Mallinson with 1063 votes compared to the Tory's 768.
Mr Mallinson was one of only two Conservative councillors not to be re-elected and Coun Osa said it was a very proud day for her and her family.
"It's brilliant. It's history in the making,” she said.
"To be the first black woman councillor in Swindon is just unbelievable.
“I have worked hard to get this seat and I always say you reap what you sow and hard work reaps good things.
“It is my time now and the start of my career and I want to thank the people of Walcot.
“The Labour party is the party that listens to the average person.”
Coun Osa aims to tackle anti-social behaviour across the ward and support Regeneration of Sussex Square.
ABBEY Meads was a safe seat for the Conservative party and Peter Stoddart said that even with the Alternative Vote system he would have been re-elected.
Coun Stoddart beat his rival convincingly, getting slightly more than 60 per cent of the vote to retain his seat.
"I'm really pleased," he said.
"Everyone worked especially hard and I didn't think we would win by as much as we have.
"I got 63 per cent of the vote so even under AV I would have kept my seat.
“We’ve got a few new developments coming to the fringes and I will make sure that people in the ward will be protected.
“I am really pleased, you’ve got to be with that sort of majority.”
Coun Stoddart, who has represented Abbey Meads since 2000, will now push for investment in the local parks and open spaces as well as working hard to keep the area free of litter, graffiti, vandalism and dog fouling.
Coun Baker won with a majority of 344 votes and said that he was pleased to cement Labour’s hold on the area.
"It's fantastic," said the returning councillor.
"I was a little bit worried but all the work we have done on the estate has worked.
"It is a big win for Labour.
“It shows that Labour is well supported in Penhill and what we are doing is having an impact.
“I want to carry on really working hard to encourage people to help themselves and the community.”
Coun Baker, of Milston Avenue, said that he wants to be the voice for Penhill and hopes that he can help build a bit of pride in the area and the community.
Coun Ballman won 1,257 votes, giving him a majority of 783 over his nearest rival, Conservative Wendy Jane Welch.
In the last few years Coun Ballman has worked to deliver improvements to the area, working with the community on the design and delivery of new play areas and highway improvements and the soon to be complete community centre in Pinehurst.
"I'm very pleased and very grateful to all the people who came out and voted for me," he said.
"I'm personally satisfied and will continue working with the people of Gorse Hill to get the best results for them.”
DEPUTY leader of Swindon Council, Garry Perkins, has been returned as councillor for Shaw and Nine Elms , despite coming under fire before the elections.
Coun Perkins said that it had been a good evening for the Conservative party and was pleased to have the backing of his constituents.
"With any election I don't like to count the votes before they are verified but I am very pleased that the constituents have voted for me," he said.
"The constituents have voted me back in and it comes on the back of a very good evening for the Conservatives.
“We have lost to two marginal seats which is not bad considering the opposition we have had following the actions of the central government after what was left to them by the previous Labour government.
“We are working towards a better Swindon with the regeneration of the town and bringing jobs back into the town.”
Now re-elected, Coun Perkins aims to continue opposing plans for 3,500 houses adjacent to Sparcells and Peatmoor and will campaign to bring more jobs to the town, especially for young people.
Highworth resident Alan Bishop has been elected as a Conservative councillor for his home ward.
Coun Bishop won 1,662 votes, giving him a majority of 711 and he takes over the seat from fellow tory Mel Duff, who stood down this year.
“I am delighted with this result we have put a lot of work in and I have had a good team behind me,” he said.
"I have lived in Highworth for 47 years so I am well-known in the area.
"We worked hard to keep this seat.
“I am now aiming to look after the Pentylands fields and secure the Rec and to bring Swindon Street up and make it a real gateway to the Cotswolds, which is how it should be.
“Highworth is a wonderful town with wonderful people and I am pleased to be serving them again.”
Coun Bishop now wants to work hard to help improve the quality of life in Highworth and continue championing the town’s local services and facilities, which he feels are essential to the Highworth community.
Coun Faramarzi won 1,354 votes to gain a slim majority of 149 votes over Labour candidate, Peter Watts.
The new Coun Faramarzi said she hopes to hit the ground running and will be out on the streets straight away to meet with residents and discuss the issues in the area.
"I am very pleased,” she said.
“It was very close and I think the constituents know and respect their existing councillors and they can see from my history that I get results.
“I am going to keep an eye to make sure there is no inappropriate development without the road structure needed and also keep the rivers and brooks in the area clear to prevent any danger of flooding in the future.”
Regeneration of the shopping areas in Covingham, Coleview and Nythe are one of the priorities for Coun Faramarzi as she takes power.
CONSERVATIVES suffered another blow at the polling stations as they lost their seat in St Philips .
Joe Tray unseated Paul Findlow as he won 1,540 votes beating Mr Findlow by 333.
"I am very proud for myself and Labour," said Coun Tray.
"We worked very hard to get out in the community and talk to the nice people of St Philips.
“I will now ensure that I work to the best of my abilities to make sure that I get the best results for the ward.
“I will fight to protect the community spirit of the ward and keep the assets which make it a great place to live.
“What is important now in St Philips is that they have a voice and I make sure that it is heard.”
Coun Tray, who has lived in Upper Stratton for 32 years, wants to stop the development of green spaces and try to tackle the issue of traffic in the area.
For full coverage of the local elections, parish council elections and the result of the AV vote in Swindon, see tomorrow's Swindon Advertiser.