THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS saw their share of the vote dramatically increase as they held on to their Evendons seat.
And Helen Power, who had to step down from the seat at Christmas due to a diagnosis of terminal cancer, was on hand to celebrate the success of her successor Sarah Kerr.
Ms Kerr romped home with almost twice as many votes as her Conservative rival, Daniel Clawson. Labour’s Tim Lloyd was in a distant third place.
She was grateful to the 1,441 people who voted for her.
“I am shocked. I’m obviously really happy, I’m just a range of emotions right now,” she said immediately after her victory had been announced.
“A huge thank you to my team, I mean this is a team effort. I could not have done this without, not just the Lib Dems, but my family and the residents as well.
“I’ve had some lovely messages from people in the community and that really gives me that boost as well. I think everyone has pulled together.”
Conservative candidate Daniel Clawson was deflated by his defeat: in some wards, his 729 votes would have been enough to have secured victory.
He said: “I’m feeling disappointed for the many, many people who did vote for the Conservatives and also for all the supporters I had on the doorstep.”
Mr Clawson wanted to express his appreciation to the people who campaigned for him in the seat.
“I can’t say thank you enough,” he said. “They have been fantastic, they’ve rallied round and, in a very short space of time, people have got to interact with the Conservatives, the Conservatives have been visible on the doorsteps and that can only ever be a good thing.”
However, he also praised Ms Kerr: “I’m really happy that Evendons gets a new borough councillor that’s young and energetic and has fresh ideas and fresh perspectives. That can only ever be a good thing.”
Mr Clawson would not be drawn as to whether he would stand again in the forthcoming local elections.
“I’d quite like to go back to relative obscurity for a couple of days,” he said. “I think it’s great that we’ve laid the groundwork for May, and I will be supporting all the candidates who will be running.”
Labour candidate Tim Lloyd wasn’t disappointed with his placing.
He said: “I think it’s enough just to stand for the principles that the Labour party holds”, adding that the party needed to take this to the electorate to decide on.
Local Neighbourhood Action Group chair Ken Rowlands congratulated Ms Kerr on her victory.
In a post on social media, he said: “Having worked with Sarah over the last year and looking to the future with great being. Well done, your hard work has paid off.”
This year’s results v last year’s