This is a preview of your message.
Here is an update of how we got on in the elections ast week.
After many weeks of campaigning, with many miles walked delivering leaflets, and plenty of socially distanced conversations, our intrepid Wealden Lib Dem candidates had a mixed set of results in last week's elections, with a couple of wonderful wins as well as some frustratingly close losses. And in the Wealden division of Forest Row & Groombridge (where the Lib Dems did not stand this time) the Green Party candidate defeated the Tory (a former MP) so our district is definitely now less blue!
East Sussex County Council
We had a brilliant win by Steve Murphy in Hailsham Market, who will go to County Hall as a new Lib Dem County Councillor with a substantial majority. We only just missed out on a second Lib Dem win in Crowborough North & Jarvis Brook, where our Chair James Partridge was just 35 votes behind the Conservative, who was duly elected under our "winner takes all" First Past The Post system. Two thirds of those voting did not vote Conservative. It was another close contest in Uckfield North, where Tim Murray greatly increased the Lib Dem vote share from last time, and got 1010 votes, but this was still 285 votes behind the Conservative. Again, the majority of those voting (51%) did not vote Conservative.
We also saw vote share increases in Hailsham New Town, Crowborough South and Wealden North East, where candidates Neil Cleaver, Gareth Owen-Williams and Lucy Buck proved that it is possible to mount a credible challenge to the Tories with a locally well known and respected candidate. So there was much to be pleased about, especially the massive increase in Lib Dem vote share in many Wealden divisions - and the corresponding big reductions in Conservative majorities.
It was a more difficult situation in Uckfield South, where despite a good showing by our candidate Chris Bowers, a very strong performance by the Labour candidate (a young and driven Uckfield town councillor) kept us in third position.
Overall, the Conservatives remain in control of the Council but with a reduced majority (they now hold 27 out of 50 seats). The number of Liberal Democrats remains unchanged at 11 (one seat was lost to the Greens in a Lewes division, off-setting our win in Hailsham Market) so we remain the biggest opposition party at County Hall. Labour won five seats, and the Greens, who had a good set of results nationally, won four, with the remaining three County Council seats being held by independents. We hope they will all work with us to provide a really effective opposition.
To view the full set of results (either as a clickable map or list with a breakdown of divisions) please see: https://www.eastsussexinfigures.org.uk/ced2021/atlas.html
Wealden District Council
We are delighted that Hailsham's popular Lib Dem mayor Paul Holbrook won the by-election in Hailsham North to become a District Councillor. This increases the number of Lib Dem councillors on the District Council from four to five, making us the second largest party and the official opposition to the Conservatives. Our candidate Anne Blake-Coggins fought a valiant campaign at very short notice in the other District Council by-election in Hailsham South, and also increased the Lib Dem vote share, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough to beat the Conservative this time (return match in just two years!).
Sussex Police Commissioner
The Conservative Katy Bourne was re-elected, and our Liberal Democrat candidate Jamie Bennett came third with 63,271 votes, an increase of 33,721 on the Lib Dem vote in 2016.
We'd like to extend a huge, huge thank you to all the members and supporters that helped us with donations, deliveries and canvassing, as well as many others working behind the scenes. The increase in Liberal Democrat vote share would not have been possible without our members and supporters helping us to fund campaigns, put up stakeboards, man the phones, deliver leaflets and canvass alongside our thecandidates. As a result, we had an impressive coverage of households in our target areas.
We are heartened by our progress and by the unfolding Lib Dem successes across the country, and by the decrease in the Conservative vote across the South of England. Our next focus will be the Wealden District Council elections, which are due to take place in May 2023. Our five District Councillors will be defending their seats and we will be looking to turn some more Wealden wards from blue to orange - which means we will need more candidates to step up, along with campaign volunteers. Anyone interested in helping or standing as a candidate is encouraged to let us know - you can email us at: email@example.com
As ever, we will carry on working for all residents in our communities and building relationships old and new... the fight for change continues!