Gallery: FENLAND: Conservative landslide but some notable polling figures for Independents

PUBLISHED: 19:48 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:06 02 June 2010

Head to head: Alan Melton (left) and Chris Howes with returning officer Tim Pilsbury

Head to head: Alan Melton (left) and Chris Howes with returning officer Tim Pilsbury

By ADAM LAZZARI THE Conservatives are celebrating a landslide victory, winning all 11 seats in Fenland at today s Cambridgeshire County Council elections. One in three of those elgible to vote did so and although the Tories were subjected to closely fough

Reasons to be cheerful: a good showing for independents Mark Archer (left) and Reg Kemp

By ADAM LAZZARI

THE Conservatives are celebrating a landslide victory, winning all 11 seats in Fenland at today's Cambridgeshire County Council elections.

One in three of those elgible to vote did so and although the Tories were subjected to closely fought contests against independent and UKIP candidates, the overall result never looked seriously in doubt.

Councillor Geoff Harper, also leader of Fenland District Council, said: "We expected to win every seat and I'm delighted that that's happened.

Jill Tuck, left, checks out results

"These elections were held in unusual circumstances with many voters angry at the expenses row in national government and I think that was reflected in some of the voting with some results wide spread.

"I think this gave Independent candidates a greater chance.

"I am very pleased with the hard work that the Conservatives are putting in at local level."

Cllr Harper was involved in one of three close contests.

A hug for Alan Melton from Pam Potts: Steve Barclay, prospective Parliamentary Conservative candidate, can only watch

He won the Forty Foot seat with 981 votes to Independent Fenland Councillor Mark Archer's 767.

Cllr Archer said: "I'm very encouraged by this. Cllr Harper knows he will have to pull his socks up because I will be standing next time.

"I don't think I was beaten by Cllr Harper the candidate, more by the Conservative machine. I have done all of the canvassing on my own and have given him a real run for his money.

"Quite a few majorities were reduced today and I believe people are becoming fed up by this one-party machine in this area. I expect to see more Independents in the future and for some to have a good chance of winning.

A day for clapping: Geoff Harper (left), Ralph Butcher (centre) and Martin Curtis

He added: "I would like to thank all of the people of Manea that have supported me."

Cllr Harper and Cllr Archer became embroiled in a furious spat over claims that Cllr Archer had been offered the vice chairman of Fenland Council to dissuade him from standing in the county elections. The claim was vehemently denied by Cllr Harper, and a local standards committee, meeting in private, dismissed the allegation.

Cllr Archer, however, is continuing to press home the claim and is expected to raise the issue again in coming weeks.

There was also a close battle for the Chatteris ward where Councillor Alan Melton beat Liberal Democrat Chris Howes by just 165 votes with a total of 1,140 and for Wisbech north where Councillor Les Simms beat UKIP's Paul Clapp by just 192 votes with a total of 729 votes.

Cllr Melton said: "I'm very pleased to win. It was a hard fought campaign and Chris Howes and his helpers have worked very hard.

"I aim to continue to do now as I have always done and that is to work hard for the people of Chatteris.

"I will fight for my town as I have done in the past.

"I realise I face some tough challenges, particularly with the town's growth."

The Chatteris ward had the highest turnout, of 39.2 per cent and the lowest was Wisbech North, which was 23.9 per cent.

A county council spokesman said of the overall turnout: "This is a quite pleasing figure when you consider that these elections have not been held alongside a General Election."

But the vote counting showed a large number of invalid papers.

Comments left on papers included, "you're all useless", and "vote BNP" and one person had written £ signs in all of the boxes.

Conservative councillor David Wheeler, who represents Waterlees on Fenland District Council, said: "I've attended several local elections and I've never seen so many invalid voting papers.

"People are choosing to express their right to vote but to say 'none of you are good enough'.

"Local voters have become disillusioned and fed up by the expenses scandal in central government.

"It's completely understandable. Some national politicians have behaved disgracefully."

Conservative leader, Councillor Jill Tuck, said: "This is absolutely fantastic. We can't help but be delighted.

"The national situation with expenses has meant that politicians are not everyone's favourite people at the moment, but we had a good turnout today and this is a fine victory for hard working local Conservative politicians who have a high level of commitment towards the people they serve."

Results:

Roman Bank and Peckover

Tierney, SteveConservative:1326

Schooling, Christopher William, UK Independence Party:617

Diggle, Joan Margaret , Labour:306

Bellard, Frank, Liberal Democrat:254

Swing per Party

Conservative: -6.07%

Liberal Democrat: -30.8%

Turn out: 2516 (36.91%)

Roman Bank and Peckover covers these geographical areas:

Parishes Gorefield, Leverington, Newton, Tydd St Giles, Wisbech.

Wisbech North

Sims, Les, Conservative: 729

Clapp, Paul Sydney, UK Independence Party: 537

Diggle, Barry Ernest Arthur, Labour: 271

Baldry, Diane Rita, Liberal Democrat: 212

Swing per Party

Conservative: -5.34%

Liberal Democrat: -5.74%

Labour: -19.63%

Turn out: 1764 (23.91%)

Wisbech South

King, Simon John Edward, Conservative: 930

Schooling, William, UK Independence Party: 532

Plumb, Mark David, Labour: 212

Roscoe, Verity Jade Colbert, Liberal Democrat: 191

Hunt, Andrew Peter, Libertarian Party: 140

Swing per Party

Conservative: -7.28%

Liberal Democrat: -20.44%

Turn out: 2010 (31.09%)

Waldersey

Tuck, Jill, Conservative: 936

Booth, Gavin George Rodney, Liberal Democrat: 641

Burbridge, Alan Roy Independent: 394

Carpenter, Paul Daniel Green:197

Goode, Dave, Labour: 146

Swing per Party

Liberal Democrat: -13.51%

Conservative: -18.34%

Turn out: 2331 (38.1%)

The Waldersey Electoral Division covers these geographical areas:

Parishes Elm, Parson Drove, Wisbech St Mary

March East

Yeulett, Fred, Conservative: 1229

Kinnear, Heather Margaret, Liberal Democrat: 497

Jones, Carol Ann, Labour:372

Swing per Party

Conservative: +14.13%

Liberal Democrat: +8.6%

Labour: -14.86%

Turn out: 2135 (33.96%)

The March East Electoral Division covers these geographical areas:

Parishes Christchurch, March

March North

West, John Frederic, Conservative: 985

Colbert, Christine Joan, Liberal Democrat: 538

Jones, Harry, Labour:242

Swing per Party

Conservative: +3.74%

Liberal Democrat: -17.45%

Turn out: 1794 (33.63%)

Whittlesey North

Curtis, Martin,Conservative: 1393

Chapman, David, Liberal Democrat:499

Hibbert, Jes, Labour: 343

Swing per Party

Conservative: +9.85%

Liberal Democrat: +9.75%

Labour: -19.59%

Turn out: 2271 (37.71%)

Whittlesey South

Butcher, Ralph, Conservative: 1444

Ward, Peter Russell, Liberal Democrat: 487

Hervey, Aiden Romaine, Labour: 211

Swing per Party

Conservative: +9.53%

Liberal Democrat: +7.96%

Labour: -17.49%

Turn out: 2183 (38.53%)

March West

Clark, John Frederick,Conservative: 1175

Kemp, Reg, Independent: 560

Adams, Paul Davidson, Liberal Democrat: 277

Owen, Joy Patricia, Labour: 177

Swing per Party

Conservative: -3.93%

Liberal Democrat: -29.74%

Turn out: 2203 (35.99%)

The March West Electoral Division covers these geographical areas:

Parishes Benwick, March

Forty Foot

Harper, Geoffrey Farrar, Conservative: 981

Archer, Mark Ian, Independent: 767

Duffy, Callum Francis, UK Independence Party: 380

Benford, Roy, Liberal Democrat: 167

Ashby, Bill, Labour: 123

Baynes, Len, United Kingdom First: 117

Swing per Party

Liberal Democrat: -12.44%

Conservative: -13.87%

Labour: -23.55%

Turn out: 2556 (36.82%)

The Forty Foot Electoral Division covers these geographical areas:

Parishes Chatteris, Doddington, Manea, Wimblington

Chatteris

Melton, Alan Keith, Conservative: 1140

Howes, Chris, Liberal Democrat: 975

Kelly, Max Oliver, Labour: 157

Swing per Party

Liberal Democrat: +15.51%

Conservative: +4.15%

Labour: -19.66%

Turn out: 2312 (39.22%)


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