Local Elections

Nearly half of Lincolnshire County Council’s ruling group will be new faces following the latest election results.

The Conservative’s retained control of the authority following the polls on Thursday with 54 out of 70 seats to their name.

The number is the same as the party went into the election with, however, down by four on the 2017 election results due to some party members leaving or switching sides.

The results, however, saw the loss of Executive Councillor for Culture and Emergency Services Nick Worth and Executive Councillor for Community Safety and People Management Barry Young, both of who stepped down to retire and were replaced in their wards by Conservative councillors Tracey Carter and Robert Gibson respectively.

Eddy Poll, Executive Councillor for Commercial and Environmental Management, who was voted out and replaced on the authority by South Holland Independent Robert Gibson, is not on the LCC cabinet either.

Now council leader Martin Hill has announced his new executive team for the next four years. The new team will include nine councillors rather than the previous eight, and as part of it some roles have also been moved around between councillors.

It will see existing members Councillor Hill and Councillors Patricia Bradwelll, Richard Davies, Colin Davie and Sue Woolley joined by Councillors Richard Butroid, Wendy Bowkett, Lindsey Cawrey and Danny McNally.

Conservative leader of Lincolnshire County Council Martin Hill after his party won enough seats to retain control.

All four were re-elected to their ward seats in Thursday’s election.

Councillor Hill said: “I’m pleased to announce the make-up of the new executive and the councillors who will be leading the services we provide for the people of Lincolnshire.

“I’m very pleased the hard work of candidates and Conservative councillors of the past four years has been recognised and rewarded and I look forward to the next four years.

“I’m confident the council will serve the public of this county as best it can.”

He said the authority had a “very strong manifesto” and repeated previous promises of building and developing roads, schools and broadband as well as tackling potholes and fly-tipping and campaigning for more funding.

Councillors Barry Young and Nick Worth stepped down for the 2021 elections, while Councillor Eddy Poll lost his seat at the vote.

The new council also includes three district council leaders, with Councillor Kelham Cooke (South Kesteven) and Richard Wright (North Kesteven) joining Councillor Paul Skinner (Boston) in the chamber.

The full list of executive group members is:

  • Martin Hill: Leader and executive member for Resources, Communications and Commissioning
  • Patricia Bradwell: Deputy leader and executive member for Children’s Services, Community Safety and Procurement
  • Richard Davies: Executive Member for Highways, Transport and IT
  • Colin Davie: Executive Member for Economic Development, Environment and Planning
  • Sue Woolley: Executive Member for NHS Liaison, Community Engagement, Registration and Coroners
  • Richard Butroid: Executive Member for People Management, Legal and Corporate Property
  • Wendy Bowkett: Executive Member for Adult Care and Public Health
  • Lindsey Cawrey: Executive Member for Fire & Rescue and Cultural Services
  • Danny McNally: Executive Member for Waste and Trading Standards

Noi Sear is Lincolnshire County Council’s first Thai councillor who gained the Mablethorpe seat for the Conservatives from Labour in last Friday’s election results on May 7.

She beat Labour councillor Graham Cullen by a majority of 211 votes ousting him from his seat and pledges to “put Mablethorpe on the map,” standing for “all the little villages around” her town.

What inspired Cllr Sear to stand for her county council ward was her passion for helping the community, shown by her ‘meals on wheels’ service she has been running since the pandemic started.

Cllr Sear has been cooking and delivering free meals for the elderly and food banks in Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea during the pandemic every Saturday for around 14 months.

“I’m really passionate about community, for the people of this area,” she added.

Cllr Sear, 59, moved to the UK 40 years ago from Thailand. She married her husband David Sear 16 years ago and moved to Mablethorpe 17 years ago from Yorkshire.

She has two daughters and five grandchildren and says she is very “proud” of them.

She is also actively involved in ‘Thai Night’ where she cooks and raises money for charities in her local area.

Cllr Sear cooking her ‘meals on wheels’ for the community.

 

“I have no gimmick, people see the way I am, not who I am.”

Cllr Sear wants to focus a lot of her efforts as newly-elected councillor on combatting COVID-19 and potholes in her area.

The county council election result was a Conservative gain for Mablethorpe with Noi Sear gaining 1,480 votes to Graham Cullen’s 1,269 from Labour.

Cllr Sear delivering food packages around Mablethorpe.

Cllr Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council said: “I am looking forward to working with Noi at the county council.

“Noi is well known and very popular in her area  – and I understand she has been doing a great job supporting her community during this pandemic.

“I’ve seen some of the pictures of Noi’s cooking for her ‘meal on wheels’ service – and I must say it looks very good indeed!”

Cllr Sear giving food packages to people of Mablethorpe.

Craig Leyland, leader of East Lindsey District Council congratulated Cllr Sear on her victory last Friday.

Labour lost two of the seven seats it was defending in the local elections for the City of Lincoln Council on May 6, Abbey and Moorland, with one of those seeing the Liberal Democrat party getting its first foothold in the city in almost a decade.

Ric Metcalfe, the Labour leader of the council, was surprised by the Abbey ward loss, but said his party did well in the grand scheme.

Nationally, the Conservatives gained 235 councillors across England and Labour lost 326. Lincoln’s Liberal Democrat gain was one of seven gained for the party nationally.

But a closer look at the voting figures for the Abbey and Moorland Wards — two of the most deprived areas of Lincoln — over the past five years reveals a downward trend for Labour.

Claire Smalley, who takes over from Labour’s Kathleen Brothwell in the Abbey Ward, said the party had a “fantastic campaign” and had built on support from the past few years. She said they were now looking to “secure the improvements they need”.

The ward has been a Labour stronghold since the 1970s, however, the party has been on a downward trend in the seat over the past few elections, declining from a 55% share of the vote following a boundary review in 2016 to a 28% share in Friday’s elections.

The results for the Abbey ward, on Friday, were

  • Hansard, Roger (Conservative) – 305 (16%)
  • Moore, Val (Labour) – 549 (28%)
  • Penman, Donald (Reform UK) – 36 (2%)
  • Smalley, Clare (Liberal Democrat) – 974 (50%)
  • Yates, Kenneth (Green) – 99 (5%)

The results mean Labour lost 14% of the vote, while Claire and her party won 21% more than her last time round.

Thanking residents, Councillor Clare Smalley said: “The hard work starts now in securing the improvements our community need and tackling the issues we campaigned on locally.

“We’ve had a fantastic campaign leading up to this May and have been building support locally for many years now – focusing on improving frontline services, tackling local street-level issues like graffiti and flytipping, and pushing the city council to listen more to residents about the matters that affect our community.”

Liberal Democrat Clare Smalley took the Abbey Ward. | Photo: Supplied

Kathleen Brothwell, the  previous incumbent, was elected to her seat in 2016 with just 19.3% of the vote, however, her result followed a boundary review which saw all seats in Lincoln up for grabs rather than the usual third.

She was joined at the time by fellow Labour councillors Faye Smith and Peter West. The party as a whole took 55% of the vote. Prior to the review, in 2015 they took 42.9% of the vote.

In 2018, Bill Bilton won the seat with 52% of the vote, while Clare came in third after the Conservatives with 19%.

In 2019, Labour’s Jane Loffhagen held the seat for the party with 42% of the vote. Clare only managed to capture 29% of the votes but placed second.

Labour also lost a seat to the Conservatives, with Matthew Fido gaining the Moorland seat from Labour’s Geoff Ellis, by a majority of 95 votes.

Moorland ward winner Matthew Fido. | Photo: Councillor Fido’s Facebook page

The full result there was:

  • Atkinson, Ben (Liberal Democrat) – 53 (3.19%)
  • Ellis, Geoff (Labour) – 701 (42.18%)
  • Fido, Matthew (Conservative) – 796 (47.89%)
  • Padley, Christopher (Green) – 112 (6.74%)

In this ward again, the votes since 2016 show a decline in Labour’s popularity, going from 55.71% to 50.9% in 2018 and 45% in 2019.

Meanwhile the Conservatives had a rocky road to power with their 33.31% polling in 2016 rising to 41.8% in 2018 but decreasing to 36% in 2019 as the Green party managed to surge to 12% of the vote.

Following the election, Lincoln Conservatives party leader Thomas Dyer said: “Labour have been weakened on the City of Lincoln Council and we are now a stronger opposition party.

“The fight for city hall will continue – we have the momentum to take over the council.”

The final tally, means the party breakdown is:

  • Labour – 22 members
  • Conservatives – 10 members
  • Liberal Democrats – 1 member

Labour leader Ric Metcalfe saw two of the seven wards his party were defending lost to his opponents. | Photo: James Mayer for LDRS

Labour leader Ric Metcalfe said that “in the context of the national swing,” it was a “pretty good result for us”.

He called the Liberal Democrat win in Abbey a “surprise element”. “[Abbey has] generally been a fairly safe labour seat, but we had the problem of a, albeit very good candidate, nevertheless a much less well known than the outgoing person who retired.

“It’s always a bit difficult if you lose a long-standing incumbent and a new person has to come in, and obviously the Liberal Democrats have taken advantage of that and ran a very proactive campaign.

Despite the losses, however, he added: “We retain comfortable overall control and we shall carry on doing all the good things that we’ve been doing for a number of years.”

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