There were four principal council by-elections held on the 19th November. The Tories lost one seat to an Independent and hled one seat. Labour gained one seat from an Independent and the SNP held a seat. In the only Parish and Town council election result reported to ALDC the Tories held the seat.In the very rural Cholmondeley Ward of East Cheshire Unitary Council our candidate was Bryan Halson. We ran a one-leaflet campaign in a very challenging area for us. Not only had the there been little political activity from us in the recent past it was also physically challenging. The problem here is sheer distance, taking 45 minutes to drive across the ward and lots of dispersed housing. The new Unitary Authority is still working on the old (very large) county ward boundaries and the Boundary Commission is currently looking at boundary changes. We focussed our effort in the area that could be delivered. One village was targeted for work as it will make up the heart of a new ward just proposed Here we got 32% in its box on the night and so the team are planning to build on this.
In the Coleford East ward of the Forest of Dean council in Gloucestershire we nearly won from a standing start. Following recent by-election success we threw all our resources at this one and got within 37 votes of victory. We did not even stand a candidate last time it was fought but with the enthusiasm generated by the Mitcheldean and Drybrook victory in August we fought vigorously.
Finally, two reminders. Don’t forget that the final date for getting on the electoral register that will be used for council nominations is Friday 5th February. Whilst this feels like some way off it will no doubt come round very quickly and you don’t want to leave it until it’s too late. If you’re still in the process of approving your candidates don’t forget that we have advice on our website to help you do this too.