Conservatives lose Southwold seat but gain Pakefield in by-elections
- Credit: Archant
The Conservative party has gained and lost a seat following by-elections for two Waveney District Council seats.
Liberal Democrat David Beavan won a convincing majority to be elected to the district council's Southwold and Reydon ward, a seat formerly held by Conservative Sue Allen before her sudden death earlier this year.
While in Pakefield, Conservative Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro won the seat, which became vacant when Labour's Sonia Barker resigned.
The by-elections both took place on Thursday, with the results announced today.
Speaking of his victory, Mr Beavan said: 'I am really humbled by the vote.
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'The people of Southwold and Reydon have spoken, and politicians need to listen.
'I feel a great responsibility now to help reverse rising tide of second homes, to secure our community from greedy developers and arrogant councils.'
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Mr Beavan, together with colleagues in the Southwold branch of the Liberal Democrats, has been campaigning to close a loophole, which allows second home owners to avoid paying tax.
According to current regulations, second home owners are able register the properties as holiday-lets, claim small business rate relief and pay no tax on the property.
The campaign has led to discussions in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Earlier this month, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable met with Southwold party branch members to add his name to the online petition which calls for a tightening of the rules around second homes.
Announcing the result, deputy returning officer Tim Willis confirmed Mr Beavan took 1,005 votes beating the Conservative candidate David Burrows, who received 307 votes.
John Cracknell of Labour received 78 votes and UKIP's Michael Shaw had 18 votes. The turnout was 49.2pc.
In Pakefield, Mrs Vigo di Gallidoro received 643 votes, ahead of Labour's Paul Tyack with 600 votes. Phillip Trindall for UKIP received 116 votes, Peter Lang for the Green Party received 64 votes and Adam Robertson for the Liberal Democrats received 44. The turnout was 27.2pc.
Mrs Vigo di Gallidoro said: 'I am really delighted to have been elected to Waveney District Council by the residents of Pakefield and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who nominated and voted for me in this by-election.
'It was a hard won seat with the issues about Brexit negotiations being played out in Westminster, encouraging some to vote and others not to. Such issues of national government are not within a councillor's remit, but do have an influence on local voting.
'I will use my seat to represent Pakefield constituents in local matters, as I continue to represent both Pakefield and Carlton Colville at Suffolk County Council.
'Among the major projects I am seeking to achieve at the moment are a safe crossing for pedestrians across London Road South to the north of All Saints Road where parked cars and speeding traffic cause danger; a pavement between Pakefield School and Seven Acres, and a solution to the conflict between cyclists and pedestrians along the Pakefield Cliff section of the coastal path.'