The Conservatives won the byelection in Luton and Wayfield ward of Medway council on Thursday 3 September, gaining the seat from Labour by four votes after a recount. The successful candidate is Tashi Tamang Bhutia, a retired Gurkha soldier now working for BAE Systems.
This good result for the Conservatives was not matched in the three other byelections held on the day. Dean Clarke (Liberal Democrat) was elected to Malvern Hills district council in Hallow ward, gaining the seat from the Conservatives, while in Southwick ward of Wiltshire council, not only did Francis Morland (Independent) win the seat, but the Conservatives were beaten into third place by the Liberal Democrats. The final byelection saw Labour boost its majority in Ham ward of Plymouth city council where Tina Tuohy held the seat.
Sue Meekings, elected as a Conservative to Wyre Forest district council from Oldington and Foley Park ward, has been suspended from the group after being charged with drink driving – a charge she denies. This move means that the Conservative administration is now in a minority although there is no reason to believe that Cllr Meekings is likely to go into opposition.