Rainbow result in town council by-election

A RAINBOW result sees four new councillors celebrating after gaining seats on Alnwick Town Council, following the biggest by-election in its history.

Rachael Roberts, Green, received the highest number of votes with 531, Bruce Hewison, Conservative, took 481, closely followed by Independent Jim Thompson, with 460, and Jilly Bell, Liberal Democrat, with 410.

They each managed to secure one of four seats available in Castle Ward, which were vacated by resignations and retirements at the town council’s February meeting.

While voting took place yesterday, the nine candidates had to wait until this afternoon for the count to be completed at Concordia Leisure Centre in Cramlington, alongside the alternative vote referendum.

After a tense wait, the results were announced to the delight of the winners.

Those who failed to gain a seat were Thomas Bowes, Conservative, with 296; Annabelle Lamb, Conservative, 318; Jonathan Lambert, Labour, 282; Daniel Mumby, Lib Dem, 264, and Aidan Ruff, Conservative, 268.

The turn-out was 42 per cent.

There are 18 members of Alnwick Town Council, which traditionally has remained free of political interference.

However, the demise of the district council – which was drawn on party lines – has led some to describe towns and parishes as the new battleground for local politics.

A by-election last year for a single seat on Castle Ward was won by Sara Walton, who campaigned on a Liberal Democrat ticket.

The latest was sparked when councillors Susan Bell, Dorothy Hankin, Jane Mann and deputy mayor David Archer stood down due to a variety of personal reasons.