George Eliot’s birthplace goes back to Labour

Posted by David Boothroyd
View David's blog
15 years ago / November 3, 2009

Labour regained the representation Arbury and Stockingford division (including the birthplace of George Eliot) on Warwickshire county council at a byelection held on 16 July. The division had elected Tom Wilson for the Conservatives on 4 June, but Wilson was technically employed by the council at the time of his nomination and so he was disqualified from election. He fought for re-election having previously resigned, but at the byelection voters preferred Barry Longden (Labour) who had been county councillor for the division from 1993 to 2009.

A delayed election from 4 June also took place in the Kirk Hallam division of Derbyshire county council. The Conservative candidate for the division, Michael Sherwood, had died during the election campaign, but voters decided to re-elect Michelle Booth (Labour) who had represented the division since 2005. Michael Sherwood was a member of Erewash borough council for Abbotsford ward; voters there chose Kathryn Major (Conservative) to follow him.

All three other byelections held on 16 July were held by the Liberal Democrats. Ann Gopsill retained her late husband Graham’s seat on Wychavon district council in Droitwich Central ward by 10 votes. Dave Kent was elected from Moss Bank ward to St Helens borough council, keeping control of the council in the hands of the Liberal Democrats. Finally, a majority of one vote was enough (as Churchill said) in Portfield ward of Christchurch borough council where Christine Payne was elected with 279 votes to 278 for Conservative Lisle Smith.

Four councillors have changed parties in the past week. Grenville Horsfall, elected as a Conservative from Skircoat ward to Calderdale borough council, had already been deselected, and will now sit as an Independent councillor before he fights for re-election. On South Derbyshire district council, Stenson ward councillor Lakhvinder Singh Pabla has announced he is leaving the Labour Party over the issue of expenses claims by Members of Parliament.

Waltham Forest borough council‘s Cathall ward councillor Milton Martin, elected as Labour but one of several sitting councillors to be deselected, has joined the Liberal Democrat group. On Woking borough council, Peter Ankers (Pyrford ward) has left the Conservatives to sit as an Independent because he is opposed to the level of debt run up by the council.