December 16, 2022 2.00 pm This story is over 11 months old

Liberal Democrats win South Kesteven by-election triggered by resignation

Jan Hansen stepped down after criticising the council

A Liberal Democrat has managed to clinch a South Kesteven by-election.

Murray Turner will be the new councillor for Toller ward, around Folkingham, joining two other Lib Dems on the council – Amanda Wheeler and Harrish Bisnauthsing.

It was formerly represented by Jan Hansen, who resigned alleging “bullying and intimidation” at the council.

Mr Turner beat Tony Vaughn, the Conservative candidate, by 256 votes to 170 in a two-person race.

As Councillor Hansen identified as an Independent, it will be a welcome gain for the Liberal Democrats on the council.

The Conservative’s vote share was down 8.6% on the previous election.

Councillor Ashley Baxter, the leader of the Alliance SK group, said the result showed “there are no safe Tory seats in South Kesteven”.

Turnout was low at just 20.8%.

South Kesteven District Council said that Councillor Hansen hadn’t made any formal complaints regarding his allegations.

Councillor Martin Hill, who represents a similar area on Lincolnshire County Council, criticised the timing as causing an unnecessary by-election.

“It is disappointing that he chose to resign last week, causing a totally unnecessary by election with the associated cost and disruption when we are within a few months within all out district elections next May,” Councillor Hill said at the time.

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