Regional elections 2011: Poll postponed after death of councillor

Rushden: East Northants Election count at the Pemberton Centre.''Friday, 06 May 2011
Rushden: East Northants Election count at the Pemberton Centre.''Friday, 06 May 2011
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ELECTIONS in the Deeping St James Ward were postponed after the sudden death of district councillor Ken Joynson.

Mr Joynson (84), of Manor Way, Deeping St James, died in Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, on Tuesday after suffering a fall at the Spalding Flower Parade last weekend.

He was due to defend the seat he had held for the Liberal Democrats on South Kesteven District Council since 1983 at Thursday’s elections but the ward election has been postponed, although the poll must go ahead before June 23.

Mr Joynson was also the chairman of Stamford AFC as well as a former teacher at Peterborough Regional College.

His colleague and fellow district councillor Ray Augur said: “He was a man I was only too pleased to call my friend.

“It is a great loss to the community.”

District council chief executive Beverley Agass said: “We were all saddened to hear the news and our thoughts are with his family. Ken was well thought of and respected by everyone. He carried out his role with dignity and integrity and he will be sadly missed.”

The Liberal Democrat party on the district council was dealt another blow on Thursday as all of its remaining candidates were ousted - much like the hundreds across the UK who lost their seats in an apparent backlash against the party’s role in the Coalition Government.

St John’s Ward in Stamford which was a Liberal Democrat stronghold became all blue as Conservatives Terl Bryant, David Nalson and Graddon Rowlands triumphed.

Tory Breda Griffin beat Dr Sam Jalili in All Saints Ward, Stamford, while fellow Conservative Brenda Sumner gained St George’s Ward in Stamford from Joyce Gaffigan.

In Market Deeping, long-serving Conservative councillor Mike Exton lost his seat to fellow Conservative Paul Cosham.

Council leader Linda Neal retained her Bourne West seat with ease, as her Conservatives retained their overall majority.

There was a major shock at the South Holland District Council count as council chairman Stamford Marthews unexpectedly lost in the Gedney Ward to Independent candidate Sarah Wilkinson.

The Conservatives retained an overall majority of 25 seats on the council, despite the setback, while the Independents increased their membership from 10 to 12.

At Fenland District Council it was the same story, with the Conservatives managing to stay strong despite growing concern over the cuts programme at a national level.

Although they lost four seats, the Tories still have a massive majority over other parties with leader Alan Melton cantering to victory in his contest for Birch Ward, Wisbech.

One of the biggest surprises of the day came in the Waterlees Ward of Wisbech, where husband and wife team Virginia and Michael Bucknor boosted the number of Independents on the council by ousting the incumbent Conservatives for that ward David Wheeler and Ray Griffin.

In Huntingdonshire, Conservative Eric Butler retained his seat in Yaxley and Farcet with ease after polling 1,776 votes.

He helped his party retain control of the district council with a crushing victory as they gained four seats.

Elsewhere, Peter Mitchell retained his seat in Stilton comfortably after polling 655 votes defeating his nearest rival Labour candidate Mary Howell who polled 177 votes.

In all, the Conservatives won 19 of the 22 seats up for grabs in Huntingdonshire while the Liberal Democrats took two seats and the UK Independence Party took one – in the Ramsey ward.

In the Oundle Ward of the East Northamptonshire Council the Conservatives also held their seat.