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District Council Election Drama

Monday 11 May 2015, 13:26
By John Baxter

Counting votes for the Wincanton constituency

[EDITOR:] Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.

This was a momentous and uncertain day. From the time that the BBC exit polls came in, deeply at variance with what the opinion polls had shown, everyone knew we were in for a shock. The results at a national level would be unlike anything anyone had predicted.

It then only took a few constituency counts to come in to confirm the exit poll predictions to be pretty certain that the whole political landscape had changed. The Liberal Democrats were paying a terrible price for having been prepared to work in coalition with the Conservatives in order to bring down the deficit, and I watched aghast as all their parliamentary seats were wiped off the map in the South West.

Locally this meant David Warburton won for the Conservatives and David Rendel, the Liberal Democrat candidate, lost.

When it came to the District Council elections here the picture was rather different. The Liberal Democrats won 29 seats, the Conservatives 28, with the balance being held by three independents. This leaves the council without clear party control when previously the Liberal Democrats had a majority of one. Particularly nail-biting was the victory, by one vote, of Sarah Dyke-Bracher for the Liberal Democrats in Milborne-Port.

In Wincanton, Nick Colbert and Colin Winder retained their seats as Conservatives with increased votes. Having District and Town Council elections on the same day as the Parliamentary Election resulted in a huge increase in the number of votes cast for these two bodies that usually only get a low turnout. Let’s hope it will also stimulate interest in their work.

Colin Winder and Nick Colbert, re-elected to District Council for the Wincanton areaSarah Dyke-Bracher won by one vote in Milborne Port

I attended the count on Friday, so missing the Parliamentary announcements, but what struck me was the calm and courteous atmosphere. Compared with five years ago there was far less bitter party animosity on show, rather people seemed to go out of their way to chat politely both with their political friends and opponents. Perhaps all were aware we face difficult and uncertain times with no easy answers, which makes triumphalism inappropriate.

On getting home I turned on the TV and saw the poignant sight of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband together carrying their poppy wreaths to the Cenotaph with Nicola Sturgeon behind them as the band played. In a world in which we see the transfer of power so often carried out through the use or threat of appalling violence or sickening corruption, this showed how much we have to be proud of and thankful for. It should never be taken for granted.


Colin Winder
Posts: 1
District Council Elections
Reply #1 on : Tue May 12, 2015, 19:01:46
I would like to thank all of those who voted for me in both the District and the Town Council elections. To everyone who voted I would like to say that I will always my best for the interests of Wincanton and its people.
Every time you see the ballot boxes emptied on to the table to be counted, and you see the Xs on the ballot papers, you realise that these people are putting their trust in you and the realisation and responsibility hits home each time.
Thanks to all the voters, and the workers who did the counting. Democracy in action.
Colin Winder
Nick Colbert
Posts: 2
District Council Elections
Reply #2 on : Thu May 14, 2015, 13:39:15
I of course echo Colin's sentiments, a big thank you for the faith you have placed in us.
Posts: 1
District Council Leadership remains with Liberal Democrats
Reply #3 on : Fri May 22, 2015, 12:16:19
As the Gazette reports, the leadership of South Somerset District Council remains in Liberal Democrat hands after the first full meeting of the council last night.

Liberal Democrat Mike Best was elected as chairman, taking the position over Conservative Linda Vijeh 31 votes to 27.

Independent Tony Capozzoli was elected as vice chairman, taking the position over Linda Vijeh 31 votes to 26. There was one abstention.

Liberals Democrat Ric Pallister will return as the district council's leader, with fellow Liberal Democrat Jo Roundell Greene serving as deputy leader.
Nick Colbert
Posts: 2
District Council remains with Lib/dems
Reply #4 on : Tue May 26, 2015, 08:52:56
Bad news for Wincanton and all the market towns as they continue to be fleeced of their health and leisure moneys under the guise of "District Wide" facilities in Yeovil.

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