Leader shrugs off housing campaigners' election wins - The Rugby Observer
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Leader shrugs off housing campaigners' election wins

Rugby Editorial 28th May, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

THE CONSERVATIVES retained control of Rugby Borough Council in last week’s local elections – despite losing two seats to anti-development campaigners in wards where new housing has been proposed.

Independent Deepah Roberts recorded a resounding victory in Dunsmore Ward, beating Conservative Ian Spiers who was defending the seat vacated by Ian Lowe.

And Liberal Democrat Bill Lewis returned to the council by taking Rokeby and Overslade ward from the Conservatives.

Coun Roberts, wife of fellow independent Dunsmore councillor Howard, secured the most votes of any candidate in the borough.

She said: “The people of Dunsmore ward recognised local government is not about waving a party flag.

“I now have a mandate to go to battle on their behalf over unwanted rural development.

“I am not against all development, but I will not stand idly by and watch inappropriate development in the beautiful villages that I represent.”

Coun Lewis, who until two years ago represented Caldecott ward, said: “We had a lot of support locally from voters who wouldn’t normally vote for the LibDem party, but they were voting for me as a person.

“Clearly the biggest issue in at least part of the ward, in the Hillside and Rokeby area, is the possibility of houses being built on Ashlawn Road.”

All other wards were held by their respective parties with unsuccessful challenges in some from UKIP. The Conservatives now have 23 of the 42 seats at the Town Hall.

Council leader Craig Humphrey said he was relatively pleased with his party’s performance.

But he rejected the notion the electorate had sent an anti-development message with the Dunsmore and Rokeby/Overslade results.

“Nationally we have a social problem in that we need to build more homes,” he said. “What we need to be doing is working with our residents here in Rugby to find how that best fits with our core strategy.

“The notion you can just throw your hands up, put your head in the sand and stop development isn’t one that any local authority can take.

“I found it ironic that, when given the chance to serve on the planning committee, both the Liberal Democrats and the independents refused that opportunity.

“Wouldn’t you think that the best place to talk against any proposed development would be through the forum of the planning committee at Rugby Borough Council?

“Or – if I was being cynical – are they being a bit opportune in that if they’re not on the planning committee, they can continue throwing mud from the sidelines?”

Nine seats – one third of the total seats on the borough council – were up for election. Turnout was 38.6 per cent.

The results in full:

Admirals and Cawston ward

DAVIES Gordon – UK Independence Party (487)

HOTTEN Gwen – Liberal Democrats (71)

LIVINGSTONE Hamish Bartholemew – Labour Party (599)

REYNOLDS Peter Stephen – Green Party (96)

WILLIAMS Mark Antony – Conservative Party (873) – ELECTED

Turnout: 38.75%

Benn ward

LYTTLE Lorna – Conservative Party – (363)

SANDISON Claire Louise – Liberal Democrats – (136)

SHERA James Masih – Labour Party – (890) – ELECTED

SMITH Bill – Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts – (117)

WRIGHT Steven Michael – Green Party – (243)

Turnout: 30.5%

Bilton ward

AVIS Michael – Labour Party (468)

CADE Chris – Conservative Party (1,187) – ELECTED

CROWLEY Kate – Green Party (220)

GEORGE Lesley Mary – Liberal Democrats (207)

ROBERTS Stephen James – Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (107)

Turnout: 43.1%

Coton and Boughton ward

BARRINGTON-WARD Fiona – UK Independence Party (379)

REEVES Zoe – Green Party (130)

SIMPSON-VINCE Jill Beverley – Conservative Party (754) – ELECTED

SLINGER John Anthony – Labour Party (474)

Turnout: 34.14%

Dunsmore ward

BROWN Kieren Richard George – Labour Party (233)

ROBERTS Deepah – Independent (1,289) – ELECTED

SPIERS Ian – Conservative Party (1,039)

WOLFSKEHL David – Green Party Stop Fracking Now (124)

Turnout: 45.27%

Eastlands ward

CRANHAM David Dick – Conservative Party (478)

GODDEN Phil – Green Party (208)

JOHNSON Rob – Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (90)

KEELING Dale – Liberal Democrats (635) – ELECTED

WESTON Steve – Labour Party (460)

Turnout: 32.39%

Hillmorton ward

ALLEN Nigel David – Conservative Party (721) – ELECTED

BROWN Barbara Anne – Labour Party (512)

DOUGLAS Tim – Liberal Democrats (253)

MCKENZIE Tim – Green Party (197)

Turnout: 40.09%

New Bilton ward

BIRKETT Steve – Labour Party (780) – ELECTED

HULL Charlie – Conservative Party (472)

SANDISON Roy Leonard – Green Party (344)

Turnout: 27.97%

Newbold and Brownsover ward

DUNLEAVY Lorna Beryl Joyce – Green Party (296)

HOLMAN Chris – Liberal Democrats (103)

LOWE Ian Stanley – Conservative Party (487)

SRIVASTAVA Ram – Labour Party (659) – ELECTED

Turnout: 29.11%

Paddox ward

LYTTLE Greg – Conservative Party (526)

MERRICK-POTTER Amber – Green Party (185)

NEW Noreen Coral – Liberal Democrats (1,113) – ELECTED

RICHARDS Owen Keir – Labour Party (394)

Turnout: 56.32%

Revel and Binley Woods

BIRCH John Edward – UK Independence Party (570)

COX Doreen – Labour Party (411)

GARCIA Belinda – Conservative Party (1,044) – ELECTED

HILL Roger – Green Party (164)

Turnout: 41.23%

Rokeby and Overslade ward

A`BARROW Julie Beverly – Conservative Party (697)

GOODCHILD Laurence – Green Party (138)

LEWIS Bill – Liberal Democrats (1,151) – ELECTED

SCOTT Bill – Labour Party (540)

WEEKES Julie Dawn – Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (71)

Turnout: 42.98%

Wolston and The Lawfords ward

ELLIS David John – Conservative Party (910) – ELECTED

MCLAREN Pete – Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (65)

NUTTALL Emma – Labour Party (352)

RODERICK Ellie – Green Party (183)

WYATT Pat – UK Independence Party (611)

Turnout: 37.02%

Wolvey and Shilton ward

BEVIN Rob – Labour Party (171)

PACEY-DAY Chris – Conservative Party (545) – ELECTED

TAYLOR Louisa – Green Party (91)

Turnout: 39.33%

Council leader Craig Humphrey was relatively happy with his party’s showing despite losing two seats to anti development campaigners. Picture by Jon Mullis 32.010.035.rug.jm5

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