THE Conservatives retained the Staithe Ward seat on Fenland District Council with victory in a by-election yesterday.

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David Hodgson is the Wisbech ward’s new councillor after polling 228 votes in the by-election, called following the death of former Wisbech Standard editor Roger Green in a car crash earlier this year.

But there was a seven per cent swing towards Labour after John White polled 166 votes.

Liberal Democrat Robert McLaren polled 90 votes, UKIP candidate Will Schooling polled 39 votes and independent Phil Webb - a Cabinet member in the last Conservative administration before May’s elections - polled 20 votes.

In May Mr Green polled 301 votes for the Conservatives to retain his seat, compared to Labour’s Reg Mee with 157 and Mr Schooling with 88.

Turnout yesterday was 28.8 per cent, compared to the 29.86 per cent turnout in May.

The Tories also won the Staithe seat on Wisbech Town Council, also vacated by Mr Green’s death. Garry Tibbs polled 223 votes compared to Mr White’s 171. Liberal Democrat Nicholas Smith polled 97 votes and Mr Schooling 52 votes.

Cllr Tibbs posted on Twitter after his victory: “Garry Tibbs is dead. Cllr Tibbs is born.”

Cambridgeshire county councillor Samantha Hoy attended the count to support her Conservative colleagues and took a side swipe at Mr Webb afterwards.

She said on Twitter: “If he was as rude to the voters as he was to myself and a teller last night I am surprised he even got one vote.”

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