Shropshire Star

Ex-teacher and former pupil win Telford council seats

A retired teacher and one of his former pupils won election to borough and parish council seats on the same day, defending both for the Labour party.

Councillor Bob Wennington, centre, joins Ian Preece, left, and Andy Burford in representing the three-seat Dawley and Aqueduct ward. All three are Labour party members. Photo: Telford Labour Party.

Bob Wennington, who taught at the Phoenix School in Dawley from 1976 to 2007, now represents Dawley and Aqueduct on Telford & Wrekin Council after receiving 56 per cent of the vote in Thursday’s by-election.

Ian Preece, who was already a borough councillor, won a tighter race by 38 votes to represent Aqueduct on Dawley Hamlets Parish Council.

The seats were vacant after former councillor and fellow Labour member Concepta Cassar, who represented both, resigned in November.

Bob Wennington, newly-elected councillor for Dawley and Aqueduct. Photo: Telford Labour Party.

Councillor Wennington, who also taught council leader Shaun Davies during his 31-year tenure at the Phoenix School, received 996 votes in the December 16 by-election. Conservative Kate Barnes, an assistant headteacher at Madeley Academy, polled 735 while Liberal Democrat Cathy Salter received 55 votes.

Vote verification and counting began at Dawley Town Hall shortly after polls closed at 10pm, and returning officer David Sidaway announced the results of both polls at around 11.20pm.

Councillor Wennington, who was already a parish councillor and chairs the Friends of Dawley Hamlets Nature Reserve group, thanked the residents who “put their faith in me, based on what they know about me, to put me on the borough council”.

“I will do my best to deliver for all the residents of the ward, whether they voted for me or not,” he said.

He said a place on Telford & Wrekin Council would give him “direct access to the cabinet, a direct chance to raise things people in the ward want, things, as a parish councillor, I can’t necessarily get done”.

“For instance, I know that, in the ward, there is a lot of work that needs doing on pavements, verges, roads,” he said.

“These past six weeks I’ve been making promises to people, so I’d better start delivering.

“It’s no good coming on the council if you aren’t going to do anything, is it?”

Dawley and Aqueduct is a three-member ward, now represented by Councillors Preece, Wennington and Andy Burford, the borough’s cabinet member responsible for health and social care.

In the simultaneous parish by-election, Councillor Preece received 408 votes to win the vacant seat in the six-member ward. Steve Barnes – Mrs Barnes’s husband and a fellow teacher – polled 370. Mrs Salter, who was the Lib Dem’s candidate in both elections, polled 30.


(Candidates listed alphabetically; winner in bold)

Dawley and Aqueduct ward (Telford and Wrekin Council):

Kate Barnes (Conservative), 735

Cathy Salter (Liberal Democrat), 55

Bob Wennington (Labour), 996

[13 rejected ballots]

[turnout 26.3 per cent; 1,798]

Aqueduct ward (Dawley Hamlets Parish Council):

Steve Barnes (Conservative), 370

Ian Preece (Labour), 408

Cathy Salter (Liberal Democrat), 30

[12 rejected ballots]

[turnout 28.2 per cent, 820]