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District Council Results Show Interesting Swings

Sunday 8 May 2011, 21:59
By John Baxter

The results for Wincanton Ward are as follows:

  • Nick Colbert - Conservative - 981 votes - Elected
  • Colin Winder - Conservative - 963 votes - Elected
  • Jane Lock - Liberal Democrat - 566 votes
  • David Carnegie - Green Party - 283 votes
  • Tim Daniel - Labour Party - 262 votes

These results are interesting compared to 2007 when the results were:

  • Colin Winder - Conservative - 826 - Elected
  • Barry Bateman - Conservative - 709
  • Tim Carroll - Liberal Democrat - 763 Elected
  • Jane Lock - Liberal Democrat - 601
  • David Carnegie - Green Party - 192

An arty, angular shot of the clock tower, with a view down Church StreetCongratulations Councillor Colbert and Councillor Winder. This means that we are now represented in the District Council by two Conservative councillors after being represented by one Liberal Democrat and one Conservative for some time. In a town with a population of 5,100 the total Conservative vote went up from 1635 1535 in 2007 to 1844 1944 in 2011. An increase of 209 409 votes. (Remember each voter votes for two candidates.) This means the Conservative vote showed a small increase increased by 26.6%. In 2007 the turnout in Wincanton was 40 % which means 60% did not vote.

In 2011 the Liberal Democrat vote, with only one candidate, Jane Lock, fell by 798 votes, which is substantial. What happened here is clear. Apart from Tim Carroll standing down after many years representing Wincanton, there was a great surge in support for the Green Party and the Labour Party. Another way of looking at that would be to say that many who had previously voted Liberal Democrat voted either Green or Labour to punish the Liberal Democrats for working with the Conservatives in the Coalition. This mirrors what has been a national trend across the country. It is also pretty tough on the Liberal Democrats when it is clear how much so many Conservatives hate being in coalition with them despite the generally productive and co-operative way the two parties have so far worked together in Government at the national level.

Neither Labour nor the Green Party spent any time campaigning locally, while both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives campaigned hard. One point both sides can take pleasure in is that the overall turnout across the District was 47.7% which is a substantial improvement. Still 52% did not vote. Shame.

Here at the Wincanton Window it has been encouraging to see that there has been a substantial surge in those looking at the site and there has been more active local participation in the hustings and in debates on our site than has ever been seen before.

As regards the outcome of the District Council elections the Liberal Democrats remain in control of the council with 31 seats, having lost 6, while the Conservatives have 25 seats, having gained eight. There are 4 Independents when there were 6 previously.




Comments

Nick Colbert
Posts: 2
Comment
I hate to pick you up on your figures John, but
Reply #1 on : Tue May 10, 2011, 10:18:42
you say:

"The total Conservative vote went up from 1635 in 2007 to 1844 in 2011. An increase of 209 votes. This means the Conservative vote showed a small increase."

The figures for 2007:

Colin Winder - Conservative - 826 - Elected
Barry Bateman - Conservative - 709

You will find that to be 1,535 not 1,635 as stated in your article.

The figures for 2011:

Nick Colbert - Conservative - 981 votes - Elected
Colin Winder - Conservative - 963 votes - Elected

You will find that to be 1,944 not 1,844 as stated in your article.

You have added 100 to our 2007 vote, and knocked 100 off our 2011 vote, making it look as though the increase in the Conservative vote was 209, which is what you have put in your article, whereas it is of course 409.

Your comment

"This means the Conservative vote showed a small increase."

Might be wishful thinking on your part John, as an ardent Lib/dem, but our vote actually increased by 409 or 26.6%

Its tempting to say that with maths like that it is no wonder the Lib/dems created a £354,000,000 debt for Somerset County Council while they were there.

Come on Dave and Mandy proof check Johns maths.
Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 10:53:15 by Nick Colbert  
johnbaxter
Posts: 1
Comment
District Council Results
Reply #2 on : Tue May 10, 2011, 16:41:54
I apologise for getting my figures mixed up. I accept Nick Colbert's corrections of them and recognise that the Conservative vote did in fact increase significantly. My mistake was caused by attempting to get an article written as quickly as possible. There was certainly no intention to mislead.

I like many people am not great with figures so when Nick continues to go on about the debt Somerset County Council is faced with I wonder.
To my knowledge the Audit Commission - the independent body set up to review local government expenditure - was not critical of the way SCC ran its finances when under Liberal Democrat control. Now we are told by the new Conservative administration that they were profligate and wasteful and that drastic cuts must be imnposed. The Liberal Democrats argue that the cuts being imposed go far beyond what is needed to cut the deficit - not I think the debt - see the article by Derek Hudson about the difference.

Is there no way ordinary people can have these different points of view clearly explained so we can see just what is involved and what the options are? It seems to me to be far too easy to simply indulge in mutual mud slinging.
Certainly the cuts being imposed are going to hurt people.
Certainly also the Window could act as a forum for such an exchange. Should we plan to try and do that?
davidsmith
Posts: 1
Comment
Corrections made
Reply #3 on : Tue May 10, 2011, 19:57:43
The corrections pointed out by Nick above have been made in bold, red.
Nick Colbert
Posts: 2
Comment
Apology accepted
Reply #4 on : Tue May 10, 2011, 22:23:28
Thank you John.

The beauty of Wincanton Window is everyone can check what everyone has said and there is no place for anyone to hide, its like open government should be (but often isnt).

With regards to the mess the Lib/dems made of the County Council I think that most ordinary people in Wincanton understand that if you spend more than your income you eventually end up in trouble, just like the Lib/dems did in Somerset, the trouble is its the ordinary peiople who inherit the debt, not the politicians who caused it.

Oh and Dave, you have only put the corrections in bold red to try and wind me up, you will have to try a bit harder.
Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 22:50:44 by Nick Colbert  
Wincantonresident
Posts: 1
Comment
Re: District Council Results Show Interesting Swings
Reply #5 on : Wed May 11, 2011, 08:02:45
I thought this website was supposed to be impartial?
Sleuth
Posts: 1
Comment
Impartial
Reply #6 on : Wed May 11, 2011, 08:36:28
Why do you say impartial? If you think they are leaning to one particular area please clarify. Since finding this online site about Wincanton I find it interesting. People saying what they think. It's almost better than watching Corrie. Keep it up folks. I can see awards in the future.

Sleuth (very partial to the Window).
andrewbarrand
Posts: 1
Comment
Inherited County Council debt
Reply #7 on : Wed May 11, 2011, 08:40:39
when John Baxter says
"I like many people am not great with figures so when Nick continues to go on about the debt Somerset County Council is faced with I wonder."

Does that mean John thinks the debt could be even worse? and as we have seen from the initial posting he's not great with the detail on figures I'm grateful he is not in charge of the public purse strings.

The overall results in both South Somerset and Mendip were very good for the Conservatives and if reflected in a General Election would see the return of 2 Conservative MP's.
davidsmith
Posts: 1
Comment
Corrections and impartiality
Reply #8 on : Wed May 11, 2011, 09:52:45
Actually I DIDN'T do the bold red to wind you up, Nick, but as it seems to have worked I'll consider it a bonus ;)

As for the site being impartial, I'd say it's more accurate to suggest that the site should not even be considered an opinionated entity. Everything published on this site is the opinion only of the author of any given article, and not that of the Window. The Window remains 100% impartial and unbiased but the articles published within may well express the [strong] opinions of their authors, and thus it can go either way at any time.

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