Nearly 1,200 vote in Telford by-elections
Nearly 1,200 voters took to the polls in Telford to elect two new local councillors.
Liberal Democrat Nick Garvey won a seat in Newport Town Council’s South ward, vacated after Conservative Jonathan Dix, who was elected on May 2, declined to take up his seat.
A petition of voters in the seat forced a fresh election, held on Thursday.
In a poll held on the same day, independent candidate John Snell comfortably beat Labour’s Gurdip Singh in the Apley Castle ward of Hadley and Leegomery Parish Council.
Mr Garvey, who won with 253 votes, was one of five candidates vying for the seat on Newport Town Council. Conservative Sarah Pearson was the nearest challenger on 184. Labour’s Sarah Branton polled 53.
There were two independent candidates in the race. Wendy Hesbrook received 119 votes, while Andrew Griffin – who planned to withdraw from the race, but missed the deadline and instead asked voters to support Mr Garvey – polled 14.
Mr Garvey, who recently started a petition calling for a rethink of a new road off the A41, claiming it would be dangerous, said: “I want to give back to Newport. I live here, my children go to school here, residents demand better for Newport – they want safe routes to school and crime at the top of the agenda. I want to be their champion.”
He joined the Liberal Democrats last year, and praised party town councillors Thomas Janke and Sarah Syrda, saying his election will “further strengthen that team”.
Mr Garvey joined Councillor Janke and Conservative councillor Tim Nelson in representing the South ward.
Like Mr Dix in Newport, independent candidate Ali Shaukat failed to deliver his acceptance of office following his election three months ago, and a by-election was called.
Retired chartered accountant Mr Snell was elected, receiving 410 votes compared to Mr Singh’s 138.
“I do not belong to a political party and prefer to be independent,” said Mr Snell, who has been a governor at Apley Wood Primary School for more than 10 years and runs its gardening club.
“In fact, I do not believe party politics should be practiced at local level. Issues should be decided on their merits from the point of view of the local residents and nothing else.”
The turnout was just over 30 per cent in the Newport South by-election and 22 per cent in Apley Castle.