Tuesday, 01 December 2015

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Tories take seats from Labour

THE Conservatives have strengthened their grip on power at Carlisle City Council, winning two seats from Labour in the elections yesterday.

Mike Mitchelson photo
Mike Mitchelson

The Tories took Yewdale and Belle Vue, their first wards in the urban area south of the River Eden since 2004.

Fiona Robson, the Save Our Lonsdale campaigner who won for the Conservatives in Yewdale, was jubilant.

The Conservatives fell 10 votes short of winning there last year. This time Mrs Robson beat her Labour opponent, Steven Bowditch, by 42.

She said: “I wasn’t overly confident but I’m ecstatic because I worked flat out for the last six weeks.

“I know I had a formidable opponent in Steven Bowditch but the result is a testimony to what the Conservatives have been doing nationally.”

Mrs Robson believes that the Government’s unpopularity helped her cause.

That view is shared by Mike Clarke, the Tory victor in Belle Vue, whose wife Nicola is a councillor for Dalston.

He beat the veteran Labour councillor Ian Stockdale.

Mr Clarke said: “There is dissatisfaction with the Government and that helped. I thought it would be very close and I was hoping to edge it. I’m very pleased to get a majority of 62.”

Sixteen of the 52 council seats were up for election.

The new composition of the council is: Conservative 21; Labour 21; Liberal Democrat 7; Independent 1; Vacant 2.

It remains hung, although the Conservatives are expected to continue in control with the support of the Liberal Democrats.

The poll in Upperby was postponed following the death of the BNP candidate Les Griffiths.

There is now a second vacancy in the ward as a result of the death of Labour councillor June Martlew last week.

It is likely that both vacancies will be filled by an election on Thursday June 12.

A total of 25,425 people voted yesterday, 38.1 per cent of the electorate, up from 35.5 per cent last year. Just over a quarter of the votes were postal votes.

The council’s annual meeting is on May 19.

Yesterday’s results should ensure that Conservative Mike Mitchelson is re-elected as council leader and Jacqui Geddes succeeds fellow Tory Liz Mallinson as mayor.

Nationally, it was a disastrous night for Labour, which suffered its worst result in local elections for 40 years.


Abbreviations: BNP – British National Party; Con – Conservative; Ind – Independent; Lab – Labour; Lib Dem – Liberal Democrat. Maj – majority. Sitting Carlisle city councillors are marked with an *

Belah: Stephen Gash (English Democrat), 176; David Morton (Con)*, 1,212; Elaine Thomson (Lab), 431. Con hold. Maj 781. Turnout 38.1%.

Belle Vue: Mike Clarke (Con), 682; Glen Gardner (BNP), 156; Ian Stockdale (Lab)*, 620; Louise Winspear (Lib Dem), 163. Con gain from Lab. Maj 62. Turnout 36.1%.

Botcherby: Bobby Betton (Ind), 313; John Blenkharn (Con), 443; Michael Boaden (Lab)*, 509; Karl Chappell (BNP), 145. Lab hold. Maj 66. Turnout 30.8%.

Brampton: Alex Faulds (Lab), 302; James Layden (Con), 913. Con hold. Maj 611. Turnout 34.8%.

Castle: Charlotte Arnold (Con), 206; Simon Osman (Ind), 202; Christopher Southward (Lab), 299; Jim Tootle (Lib Dem)*, 562. Lib Dem hold. Maj 263. Turnout 29.7%.

Currock: Brian Allan (BNP), 420; Lawrence Fisher (Con), 286; Colin Glover (Lab)*, 693; Olive Hall (Lib Dem), 99. Lab hold. Maj 273. Turnout 33.6%.

Dalston: Trevor Allison (Lib Dem)*, 1,151; Gareth Ellis (Con), 928; Grant Warwick (Lab), 216. Lib Dem hold. Maj 223. Turnout 47.4%.

Denton Holme: Geoffrey Prest (Con), 347; Joan Southward (Lab)*, 627; Allan Stevenson (Ind), 188; Janet Tootle (Lib Dem), 108; Rob Walker (BNP), 170. Lab hold. Maj 280. Turnout 30.7%.

Great Corby & Geltsdale: Helen Horne (Lab), 195; Doreen Parsons (Con)*, 471. Con hold. Maj 276. Turnout 39.0%.

Harraby: Joyce Chisholm (BNP), 272; Colin Farmer (Lib Dem), 171; Michele Gwillim (Con), 513; Carole Rutherford (Lab)*, 685. Lab hold. Maj 172. Turnout 34.4%.

Hayton: Harry Cain (Con), 234; William Graham (Ind)*, 674. Ind hold. Maj 440. Turnout 54.5%.

Morton: David Barnes (BNP), 466; Teresa Cartner (Con), 242; Nan Farmer (Lib Dem)*, 799; Ann Warwick (Lab), 740. Lib Dem hold. Maj 59. Turnout 47.2%.

St Aidan’s: Tony Carvell (BNP), 232; Barbara Eden (Con), 453; Paul Hendy (Lib Dem), 219; Lucy Patrick (Lab)*, 661. Lab hold. Maj 208. Turnout 34.1%.

Stanwix Urban: Deborah Clode (Lib Dem), 242; Paul Im Thurn (Lab), 511; John Stevenson (Con)*, 1,188. Con hold. Maj 677. Turnout 41.1%.

Upperby: Election postponed because of the death of the BNP candidate Les Griffiths.

Wetheral: Barry Earp (Con)*, 1,283; Roger Horne (Lab), 352. Con hold. Maj 931. Turnout 43.8%.

Yewdale: Steven Bowditch (Lab), 903; Michael Elliott (BNP), 326; Fiona Robson (Con), 945. Con gain from Lab. Maj 42. Turnout 44.4%.


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