Labour hold in Holywell by-election
Labour has held onto Northumberland County Council’s Holywell ward, the seat previously occupied by the late Coun Bernard Pidcock.
The result of the by-election, sparked by the death of the well-respected councillor in February, saw a comfortable win for his party colleague and friend, Leslie Bowman.
On a 41.29% turnout in the division, which includes Seaton Delaval and Holywell Village, Coun Bowman won 916 votes, followed by Conservative Maureen Levy on 510 and Anita Romer, for the Lib Dems, on 164.
This was a far wider margin of victory than Coun Pidcock, whose daughter Laura is the MP for North-West Durham and a member of the shadow cabinet, secured when he retained his seat at the county council elections two years ago.
Prior to the election, Coun Bowman said: “I have lived in Holywell and Seaton Delaval for 40 years and have been a parish councillor for this area for six years. As a parish councillor, I worked very closely with Bernard on behalf of the residents of the area, to ensure that their views were represented at both county and parish council level.
“I shall continue to work in the best interests of Holywell and Seaton Delaval residents if I am now elected to serve the residents at county-council level.”
He added: “Although Labour is currently in opposition at county council, the main issues I will be opposing, together with my Labour colleagues, will be the wrong choices being made by the Tory council which are damaging vulnerable groups of all ages across Northumberland.
“The Tories, by making ill-chosen cuts to financial support for important services, particularly in the Seaton Valley and similar areas, are damaging the social fabric of many Northumberland communities.
“I intend to work closely with my Labour county council colleagues in Seaton Valley in particular to ensure the best joint representation of the interests of the three adjacent wards on issues relating to council services, housing, education, businesses, jobs, and an improved green environment.”
Labour was also the winner in the by-election held for the Cramlington East ward on Cramlington Town Council on a 29.2% turnout: John Percy (Labour) – 394; Scott Lee (Conservative) – 369; Susan Johnston (independent) – 115.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service