Huge congratulations to the FOUR new Liberal Democrat District Councillors in Wealden, as well as to the dozens of LibDems elected to Town and Parish Councils throughout Wealden following the local elections on May 2nd. A full breakdown of all results is available on WDC's Local Election Results page
Our four new LibDem Wealden District Councillors are as follows (pictured clockwise left to right): Gareth Owen-Williams (Crowborough Jarvis Brook); Gavin Blake-Coggins (Hailsham East); Neil Cleaver (Hailsham North West); and Paul Sparks (Uckfield East).
This was a massive gain for Wealden, which has for so long been almost exclusively Tory and is an area long-considered one of the safest Conservative strongholds in the country. Although the Conservatives retained their overall majority on Wealden District Council, they lost a total of six seats in Wealden - four to the LibDems and two to the Greens, with a further five wards going to Independent candidates.
This is a particularly impressive positive change given that the total number of Wealden District Councillors has been reduced from 55 to 45 along with the new electoral boundaries. Additionally, in several wards the LibDems came a very close second, in several cases turning what was previously considered a "safe Tory" seat into a marginal one. Many are calling yesterday's stunning local election results, which saw the LibDems gaining more seats than any other party, a "bright wave of hope" and we're thrilled that Wealden is a part of that too.
We would also like to congratulate the two Green Party winners in Wealden, whose wards are: Withyham & Forest Row (where Patricia Patterson-Vanegas achieved a truly spectacular majority), and where the Wealden LibDems took the decision not to stand a district council candidate this time to avoid progressive vote-splitting. With so much common ground and shared interests, we very much look forward to working with our Green colleagues on the District Council.
Thank you to all our candidates who worked so hard in the run up to this election, and to everyone who supported them, whether behind the scenes or pounding the pavements delivering leaflets and knocking on doors. And last but not least, thank you to everyone who came out to vote - in many wards there was a much higher than normal turnout for local elections, which is great, and which we hope bode well for the upcoming EU elections on May 23rd.
For more information on the European Parliament Elections and how to register to vote (both EU AND UK citizens living in Great Britain are eligible to vote but MUST register by May 7th) please see YOUR VOTE MATTERS or the GOV.UK WEBSITE