There was one principal council by-election held on the 27th August. The Liberal Democrats held the seat. In two parish and Town council elections reported to ALDC the Lib Dems held one seat and the Tories gained one seat from Independents.

left to right: Claire Kelley (PPC Harrogate & Knaresborough(, Cty Cllr Margaret-Ann de Courcey-Bayley (County Councillor for Starbeck), Ian Law (new councillor's husband), Cllr Janet Law (winner), Cllr Philip Broadbank (District Councillor for Starbeck)In the Starbeck Ward in Harrogate the Tories made a strong attempt to wrest this strong Lib Dem ward from our grasp. A vigorous campaign around saving the local baths from Tory closure put paid to that but the campaign was notable for its strong postal vote. Of 1398 votes cast 530 were postal votes; 38%. At the outset of the campaign, knowing that polling day was in a holiday period, we decided that one of our key campaign targets would be to sign up and engage with postal voters. To this end we targeted key groups for postal vote recruitment. We sent specific “blue “ letters to all non-anti postal voters as well as the usual “How to letter”. We also targeted existing postal voters in the extensive canvas that took place. Whilst a holiday period gave particular focus to this aspect of Starbecks campaigning we would win more if this was replicated as a minimum in all our local by-elections.

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