Tories take six of nine town seats

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THE Conservative party regained its hold on Stamford following the South Kesteven district council elections.

Voters went to the polls last Thursday and made it clear that they had had enough of the Liberal Democrats, ousting all but one of Stamford’s five Lib Dem district councillors.

The Conservatives took six of the nine available seats, with Independent candidates taking two and the Lib Dems just one.

This is a drop of four for the Lib Dems, who had a majority of five to three Independents and one Tory until Friday.

A number of the new councillors are first-time candidates and could not hide their shock as the results were read out at Grantham Meres Leisure Centre on Friday.

Breda Griffin (Con), representing All Saints’, said: “I’m very surprised but very pleased.

“I have had a lot of good support from friends in the party and I can’t thank them enough.

“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me as well and I hope I can live up to their expectations.

“I am still in shock but I am hoping I can support my ward well.”

And Brenda Sumner (Con), representing St George’s, added: “I am stunned but very happy.

“Over the next four years I hope to do as good a job as possible for the town.

“I want to listen to what people want and protect the amenities that the town needs.”

Former mayor of Stamford Terl Bryant (Con), representing St John’s, was equally pleased with the result but paid tribute to the Lib Dem councillors who lost their seats.

He said: “I am looking forward to representing the people who put their faith back in us.

“Being elected is a direct result of a lot of hard work and listening.

“I am sorry to see some good councillors leaving, in particular one lady who has worked very hard for the town.”

Lib Dem councillors Maureen Jalili, Dr Sam Jalili, Christine Brough and Joyce Gaffigan lost their seats on the district council, with Harrish Bisnauthsing moving from St John’s to St Mary’s.

Coun Bisnauthsing said: “It is a sad day for us, we have taken the brunt of people’s discontent.

“This is democracy though and I will try to serve the people of Stamford regardless.

“I am very sad to see my fellow councillors leave because I have lost their support on the council but I now have to make sure we continue with the good work we have been doing.

“I would like to see our museum kept open, and I would like to see a sports and leisure facility for young people installed in the town.

“Stamford is an expanding place and we have to create the right infrastructure for the people coming in.”

There was little change in Bourne and the Deepings, with only two seats changing hands.

Helen Powell (Ind) was elected in Bourne West, replacing Trevor Holmes (Ind) while Paul Cosham (Con) replaced Mike Exton (Con) in Market and West Deeping.

This leaves Bourne with five Tory and one Independent councillors, and Market and West Deeping with two Independents and one Tory.

Coun Powell said: “I am absolutely delighted.

“I have been overwhelmed by the nice comments I received when I was out canvassing and I loved talking to people in the town.

“I would like to see us doing more for the young people in the town and make sure we add more amenities so people can get everything they need here.”

Coun Cosham said: “I am over the moon.

“Having only lived in the area for around three years, I am very proud that the people have chosen me and I will do everything possible to safeguard Market and West Deeping.

“I want to make sure the people in my ward are well represented and not ignored on the borders of the district.”

Coun Linda Neal (Con), representing Bourne West, hopes the influx of Conservatives in Stamford will allow the party to form a majority on the district council.

She said: “I am delighted, although I never took anything for granted.

“I only got in by 17 votes last time so to have a bigger gap is pleasing.

“I hope this will give us the opportunity to form a Conservative administration and move forward with the projects we have put significant work into already.”

The Deeping St James election was postponed after Coun Ken Joynson (Lib Dem), who had served the ward since 1983, died after a fall at Spalding Flower Parade two weeks ago.

It will now go ahead on June 23.