The highs and lows of Northumberland elections

Northumberland County Council election count at Willowburn Sports Centre in Alnwick.
Northumberland County Council election count at Willowburn Sports Centre in Alnwick.

North Northumberland has seen the highest and lowest margins of victory as new and former councillors have been elected onto the now Labour-run authority.

There were tears of joy, laughter, hugs and commiserations all round as the results were announced at Willowburn Sports Centre this afternoon.

Labour’s Robert Arckless was the first to learn that he had retained his Amble seat. And today was a significant day as he celebrated 30 years in local government. However, his ward had one of the lowest turnouts with just 22.2 per cent.

And at the other end of the scale, Steven Bridgett’s ward saw 54.2 per cent of the population register their vote, the highest in the county. Coun Bridgett gained a huge victory – more than 1,000 votes ahead of his closest rival Brian Hesler.

Meanwhile, Jeff Watson retained his Amble West with Warkworth seat by just one vote after three re-counts to check the result.

Labour won two seats in north Northumberland with Coun Scott Dickinson taking the new Druridge Bay ward alongside Coun Arckless in Amble.

Bamburgh changed political party with Lib Dem Pat Scott standing down after 18 years and Conservative John Woodman celebrating victory.

There was a close call in Alnwick as well as the town was merged with the former Lesbury ward, with two seats for the area. Coun Gordon Castle retained his seat but was only 120 votes ahead of his nearest rival, Heather Cairns, who was also elected.

And UKIP also did well taking more than 1,000 votes between them in Alnwick beating both Labour candidates.

The county council is now under Labour’s control as the party has taken 32 of the 67 seats compared to 21 Conservatives, 11 Lib Dems and three independents.