May 5, 2023 8.41 am This story is over 10 months old

South Kesteven eyes regime change as council leader and deputy out

The Tories lost 10 seats in total

By Local Democracy Reporter

In a dramatic election night, South Kesteven District Council lost both its Leader and Deputy Leader, while Independents further increased their grasp on the district.

The Tories started the evening with 36 councillors, but lost ten seats as the night went on – one being then council leader Kelham Cooke.

In the vote for Casewick ward, he lost his seat to Green Party candidate Vanessa Mary Smith, who was elected alongside Rosemary Helen Trollope-Bellew (Conservative).

“It has been an honour and privilege to serve the Casewick ward for the last 12 years, and for the last four years as Leader of South Kesteven District Council,” he said on Twitter.

“Sadly, I wasn’t successful in my re-election and congratulate both Vanessa and Rosemary and wish them and the ward the best for the future.”

Kelham Cooke and Rosemary Trollope-Bellew | Photo: Twitter

Newly elected Grantham Springfield Councillor Robert Murray Shorrock also took away Deputy Leader Adam Stokes’ seat.

He was elected alongside Nikki Manterfield (Conservative).

Disappointed with the outcome, Mr Stokes took to Twitter to say: “I would like to thank everyone who voted for me yesterday. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get me re-elected.

“I congratulate both Rob and Nikki on their success. It has been a huge honour to have been your district councillor for 12 years.

“I look forward to continuing to work hard as your County Councillor.”

Prior to last night’s election, the council was made up of three AllianceSK members, four Democratic Independents, three Independents and four unaligned Independents.

This meant that 14 councillors were not working under the political agenda of a national party. Since the results, this has increased to 22.

No party or group was able to win either 29 or more seats, meaning that no one currently controls the council.

As a result, a leader and cabinet will be elected to form the ruling administration either from the largest party governing alone or in coalition.

South Kesteven wasn’t the only Lincolnshire council to lose its leader last night as both Lord Gary Porter of South Holland District Council and Paul Skinner of Boston Borough Council were also voted out.


Take a look back at the night’s full local election coverage on the My Local Lincolnshire website here.