May 5, 2023 7.46 am This story is over 10 months old

West Lindsey District Council hangs in the balance after tight election race

It’s the most seats ever won by the Liberal Democrats

By Local Democracy Reporter

The future leadership of West Lindsey District Council is to be decided by Independent candidates following a tight race between the Tories and Liberal Democrats.

Prior to this year’s election, the Conservatives held a total of 16 seats at the table but ended the night with just 14, whereas the Liberal Democrats managed to increase their reach from 13 to 18.

It’s the most seats ever won by the Liberal Democrats in the district.

This ultimately leaves the decision in the hands of the four Independent and Lincolnshire Independents in Hemswell, Gainsborough North, Cherry Willingham and Dunholme and Welton.

Over the course of the next few days, these newly elected councillors will be deliberating with both parties to see where their allegiances lie.

The Tories will need to sway all four seats if they want to remain in power.

Villages such as Stow, Sudbrooke and Lea were just some of the seats the Liberal Democrats took control of.

West Lindsey Liberal Democrats | Photo: James Turner

Despite backlash over the recent migrant camp controversy, the Tories did manage to keep hold of their Scampton seat, although the count was extremely close.

Councillor Roger Patterson said he was convinced he was going to lose as the government had “stitched us up”.

Ultimately, four votes meant the difference between him and Labour candidate Giles Sullivan.

Moving forward, Councillor Patterson is keen to do whatever he can to support the council’s legal action against the Home Office.

Scampton Councillor Roger Patterson | Photo: James Turner

He said: “Worst case scenario, they can only override us for one year. 

“I don’t ever think they [the asylum seekers] will ever turn up, because I don’t think the site is in a fit state to be ready within the timeframe.

“I hope we win this court case and we get our deal, we get our growth and prosperity, and deliver a bright future for everybody.”

Previous council leader Owen Bierley (Conservative) also managed to keep his seat in Caistor and Yarbrough ward, unlike other Tory leaders in South Holland and South Kesteven.

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