December 16, 2021 11.53 pm This story is over 30 months old

Tories lose Nettleham seat held by disgraced former West Lindsey leader to Liberal Democrats

1,150 votes cast

The Conservatives have lost their grip on the Nettleham seat at West Lindsey District Council to the Liberal Democrats.

Voters took to the polling stations today (Thursday) to vote in a replacement for the disgraced former West Lindsey District Council leader.

The result was:

  • Ben Loryman, Green Party – 71 votes (6%)
  • Jess McGuire, Labour Party – 116 votes (10%)
  • Jaime Oliver, Liberal Democrat – 585 votes (51%)
  • Maureen Palmer, Conservative- 374 votes (33%)

A total of 1,150 votes from a potential 3,594 were cast and the turnout was 32% – down from 38% in the last elections in 2019.

Following the results announcement, Jaime said: “I’m feeling ecstatic and overwhelmed by the community supporting me.

“I hope I can do them justice and drive my passions for the community forward.”

The result leaves the make-up of the council as West Lindsey Administration Group 20 (17 Conservative, 2 Gainsborough Independents, 1 Independent), Liberal Democrat 13, Lincolnshire Independent 2, and Independent 1.

Trevor Young, the leader of the party, said: “What a great evening for us and quite deservedly we’ve got a fantastic candidate here locally in what Nettleham and this sets us up perfectly for 2023 elections when we think the Liberal Democrats will take control of West Lindsey District Council.”

Nettleham ward candidates, from left, Maureen Palmer (Conservative), Ben Loryman (Green), Jaime Oliver (Liberal Democrat) and Jess McGuire (Labour).

The seat was previously held by Giles McNeill, who received 635 votes (27%) in the 2019 election. A further seat went to Angela White with 632 votes.

During that election there were 2,353 votes cast. The other two candidates received 25% and 22% of the vote.

Former West Lindsey District Council Leader Giles McNeill was sentenced in November and jailed for 14 months.

Mr McNeill was jailed for 14 months in November after admitting eight theft, fraud and forgery charges totalling £31,201.04 from his own party over a six year period.

Mr McNeill resigned as leader of the council in September 2020, prior to the allegations coming to light, and was later removed from his chosen party, but sat as an independent in the ward until a month prior to his sentencing.