It’s been an exciting few days with the crescendo of the elections reaching its peak yesterday.
My stand in Feniton and Buckerell ward for East Devon District Council was rewarded with a sound win, with 1048 votes … a resounding 78% of the vote. A big thank you to those who have put their trust in me … and I will continue to work hard for Feniton, Gittisham and Buckerell. There is still much to be done.
There was a strong campaign led by the East Devon Alliance to make inroads into the stranglehold which the Conservative Party has on local politics in the area. This was successful in that there are now 16 Independents serving on the Council … a three-fold increase on the number before the election. Sadly, the longed-for seismic shift did not materialise, although there were some very near misses in some key wards. Hopefully, the ruling party will now listen to the electorate who have expressed dismay at recent Council decisions … in particular, the restriction on public speaking at planning committee meetings and the Knowle relocation project.
But the result which drew gasps from those of us present was that of Cllr Roger Giles who polled the highest number of votes in the whole election in Ottery Town ward … an incredible 2087 votes.
This local government veteran has served the people of East Devon for more years than he would probably care to admit and he has stood up for the people of Ottery despite fierce opposition. The number of people voting for him is a testament to the high regard in which he is held and those who only scraped over the winning line would do well to note his popularity. Councillors with only a tiny majority have a very watery mandate which can easily be overturned in a few short years.