Originally posted 25 September; reposted 5 October after reinstallation of blog software
The highlight of the byelections on 24 September was a Labour hold in Hayling ward of Three Rivers district council, a ward which covers a large part of South Oxhey as featured in BBC 2’s “The Choir“. Steven King took the seat with more than 50% of the vote, an increase of more than 20% compared with the last time it was fought in May 2008 when Labour won with a majority of 14 votes.
Elwick ward of Hartlepool borough council elected Independent candidate Hilary Thompson in room of fellow Independent Stan Kaiser. The other three byelections were Conservative holds in safe wards: Yvonne Hegyi in Toton and Chilwell Meadows ward of Broxtowe borough council, David Sarin in Preston ward of North Tyneside borough council, and Pam Sambridge succeeding her late husband Charlie in Burrsville ward, Tendring district council. That final result probably puts paid, for now, to the attempts by the opposition in Tendring to depose the Conservative administration.
An internal Labour Party inquiry into Rochdale Constituency Labour Party ended this week with seven members being found to have brought the party into disrepute; as a result, their supporter (and former Mayor) Robin Parker (West Middleton ward) has resigned his membership and will sit as an Independent on Rochdale borough council. Not far away from Rochdale, on Blackburn with Darwen council the Shear Brow ward councillor Arif Waghat has left the Liberal Democrats and the ruling coalition to sit as an opposition Independent, over concerns that council resources are being concentrated on Darwen.