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Conservatives lose Mendip Big gains for Greens & LibDems Independents win town

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LAST week’s local elections brought huge changes for Mendip District Council, whilst Frome Town Council saw no change with another Independents for Frome landslide.

In the district council elections the Conservative Party lost control of the council, winning just 10 seats – a loss of 22. 

The results brought success for the Green Party and Liberal Democrats with both parties making huge gains – the Liberal Democrats doubled their number of seats from 11 to 22; and the Green Party tripled their number of seats from three to 10. Five seats were won by independent candidates – a gain of four seats.

In Frome, the Liberal Democrats won five Mendip seats (a gain of one); the Green Party won four seats  (a gain of one); the Conservative Party won one seat (a loss of two); and one seat was won by an independent candidate.

The overall result means that no party has control of the district council.

In the town council elections, the Independents for Frome repeated their success from 2015, winning all 17 seats.

Speaking on behalf of the Green Party, cllr Shane Collins, who was re-elected in the Frome Keyford ward in the Mendip elections, told Frome Times,  “We are all exhilarated! I am especially honoured by the number of votes that I got – it was quite an embarrassingly high result, 1,011, the highest in the district!

“But 10 councillors for the Greens, this is fantastic. What we are seeing is a continuation of the Extinction Rebellion movement, which saw all the Green councillors up in London to be part of the protest – and most of them getting arrested.

“This is a sea of change of public opinion in the county, reflected in the Green Party leaping from three councillors to 10. As a party we were very careful where we stood for election; we didn’t want to split the anti-Conservative vote by going up against the Liberal Democrats. And this has resulted in them doubling the number of councilors, and us tripling our numbers.

“With the recent climate and ecological emergency declared by Mendip, this gives a focus for all the councillors to work towards in the coming years, it has to be the main focus.”

For the Liberal Democrats, cllr Adam Boyden, who was re-elected in the Frome College Ward, told Frome Times, “The result today was an indication of the hard work for the candidates and it shows that as a party we are standing up for residents. This is shown in the national picture too with the Conservative vote right down. 

“Myself and Drew (Gardner) being elected for the Frome College ward shows that people are voting for positive change. We are really pleased that the people voted for proactive councils and not necessarily voting for specific parties. As a councillor its important to stand up and say something. 

“Now we are expecting to see some changes to the council and we want to prove to people that we are worthy of your trust. 

“The overall Lib Dem success in Mendip and across the country is amazing. We thought we would do better this year, but didn’t expect to do this well. Hopefully the real people who will be rewarded will be the community of Frome.

“We are also hoping that this change will bring about a better relationship between Mendip and Frome Town Council, to see them cooperative on more projects in the near future.”

In the Frome Oakfield ward, independent candidate, cllr Helen Sprawson-White was successful in being re-elected. “I’m ecstatic, overwhelmed, it’s so bizarre to have won with that majority,”  she said speaking to Frome Times. “It’s more than I could have ever imagined and has left me speechless. There were a few tears and naughty words when I found out the news. 

“We are now in exciting times. The council make-up has changed dramatically and will now involve us all working together. The Lib Dems almost took control of the council but now will have to look into coalition ideas if they are to run it. But the no overall control means that we all can muck in, put our political differences aside and do what’s best for the people of Mendip.”

In Frome the district council election results were: Eve Berry (Conservative Party) and Janine Louise Nash (Liberal Democrats) elected in Frome Berkley Down; Adam Boyden (Liberal Democrats) and Drew Gardner (Liberal Democrats) elected in Frome College; Shane Collins (Green Party) and Helen Kay (Green Party) elected in Frome Keyford; John Clarke (Green Party) and Michael Dunk (Green Party) elected in Frome Market; Helen Sprawson-White (Independent) elected in Frome Oakfield; John Hooton (Liberal Democrats) and Richard Pinnock (Liberal Democrats) elected in Frome Park.

In the town council elections, the Independents for Frome repeated their success from 2015, winning all 17 seats.

Speaking on behalf of the Independents for Frome, Susannah Walker told Frome Times, “We are all really pleased and grateful for the amazing support shown by the people of Frome.

“The councillors are all looking forward to working for the whole community over the next four years.”

The elected Independents for Frome candidates in each ward are: Berkley Down Ali Barclay; Berkley Down Anita Collier; Berkley Down Andy Palmer; Frome College Lizzie Boyle; Frome College Rob Collett; Frome College Sheila Gore; Frome Highpoint Scott Ward; Frome Innox Steve Tanner; Frome Keyford Rich Ackroyd; Frome Keyford Sara Butler; Frome Keyford Anne Hills; Frome Market Mark Dorrington; Frome Market Nick Dove; Frome Oakfield Maxine Crawley; Frome Oakfield Paul Horton; Frome Park John Nelson; Frome Park Andy Wrintmore.


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