News | Elections 2021 RESULTS

MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL Allington Stan Forecast (Con gain from LD) Barming and Teston Fay Gooch (Ind hold) Bearsted Denis Spooner (Con hold)

Boughton Monchelsea and Chart Sutton Steve Munford (Ind hold) Boxley Heidi Bryant (Con hold) Bridge Tom Cannon (Con gain from LD) Coxheath and Hunton Simon Webb (Con gain from LD) East Martin Cox (LD hold) Fant Patrick Coates (Lab hold) Headcorn Ziggy Trzebinski (Con hold) Heath Peter Holmes (Con gain from LD) High Street Denis Joy (LD hold) Marden Claudine Russell (Con hold) North Michelle Hastie (LD hold) North Downs Patrik Garten (Con hold) Park Wood Lewis Mckenna (Con hold) Shepway North Paul Cooper (Con hold) Shepway South Gary Cooke (Con gain from Ind) South Paul Wilby (LD hold)

KENT COUNTY COUNCIL: Maidstone Central Dan Daley (LD) Tom Cannon (Con) Maidstone North East Ian Chittenden (LD) Maidstone Rural East Shellina Prendergast (Con) Maidstone Rural North Paul Carter (Con) Maidstone Rural South Lottie Parfitt-Reid (Con) Maidstone Rural West Simon Webb (Con)

Maidstone South Paul Cooper (Con)

Maidstone South East Gary Cooke (Con) Malling Central Trudy Dean (LD) Malling North Sarah Hohler (Con)

Malling North East Andrew Kennedy (Con) Malling Rural East Sarah Hudson (Con) Malling West Harry Rayner (Con)

KCC seats won by party: Conservative (61) Liberal Democrat (6) Labour (5) Green Party (4)


Triumphant Tories ‘will have to deliver’

THE Liberal Democrats were swept aside by a blue wave on May 6 as voters gave their verdict on Maidstone Borough Council’s performance.

The Conservatives now have a commanding majority with 29 seats at the authority after years of there being no overall control. The Lib Dems have been re-

duced to 17, and even with their al- liance partners Labour (four seats) and two independents, Cllrs Fay Gooch and Steve Munford, they still fall short by six. Indy Gordon Newton and anti- Lenham housing campaigners Tom and Janetta Sams are unlikely to come to their aid. Among the shocks, MBC’s Lib Dem leader Martin Cox came within 15 votes of losing his seat in East ward to Conservative Narprit Singh Dogra.

Liberal Democrats fell in Heath, Allington, Bridge and Coxheath. In- dependent Eddie Powell's seat in Shepway south went to Conserva- tive Gary Cooke.

It remains to be seen if Tory de- fector Nick de Wiggondene- Sheppard will leave the Lib Dems and re-join his old party. Massive house-building targets imposed by central government, crumbling roads and worsening air pollution appeared to be among drivers behind the defeat, as was the Government’s successful vaccina- tion programme.

Accusations of a lack of consulta- tion and transparency about the spending of public money were fac- tors, too, as was the growing dis- quiet over the power unelected officers wielded behind the scenes, say observers.

A 20-YEAR-OLD University of Kent student has been elected to represent Allington on MBC, adding a fresh face to politics. Second year business student and first-time councillor Stan Forecast (Con), who polled 1,084 votes, gained the seat from Diana Lewins (LD). While he is now the youngest member on the council, he says he hopes to make a differ- ence. He added: “The hard work starts now.” Reporting team: Jade Schopman and Simon Finlay

Lib Dem David Naghi, Conservative Gary Cooke and Labour’s Dan Wilkinson

A Tory spokesman said: "It was testament to the hard work of our existing councillors and smart cam- paigning of our candidates. The Lib Dem/Labour alliance did not serve the electorate well. "They played party politics with people's lives and paid the price." East ward Lib Dem Cllr David Naghi said: "What we saw was the Kate Hammond effect across the borough. She ran a good campaign and the message about change was picked up elsewhere. There were other factors, too, but that was among them. Now the Conserva- tives are in charge, they’ll have to de- liver.” The swing from Lib Dems to Con-

servative was over 10%, twice the national average. The Conservative surge was not seen in other parts of the South East.

In Coxheath and Hunton, Tory Simon Webb polled 1,380, more

Student Stan takes Allington

than 800 ahead of his Lib Dem rival on a swing of nearly 20%. In Allington, Diana Lewins was knocked out by the youngest con- tender, Stan Forecast, aged 20, in one of the big surprises of the day. Allington Lib Dem Dan Daley said the result may have been im- pacted by new housing bringing in “outside voting influences”. An equally surprising defeat of re- spected Lib Dem Bryan Vizzard, in line to be mayor in 2022, by Peter Holmes in the normally reliable Heath ward signalled how complete the transformation was.

Popular independent councillor Eddie Powell, who lost Shepway south to Conservative Gary Cooke said: "I'm disappointed but not sur- prised. I'm sure Gary will be a good councillor and I am happy to help him in any way I can." The Green Party polled an im- pressive 13% of the vote.

Police role

MATTHEW Scott has retained his job as the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner beating Labour’s Lola Oyewusi and the Liberal Democrat Graham Colley, with 56% of the vote. The result was: Matthew Scott, Conservative:

237, 278; Lola Oyewusi, Labour: 103, 807; and Graham Colley, Liberal Democrat: 69, 464 There were 420,422 votes cast, with 9,873 spoilt papers. The turnout was 31.8%.

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