Labour’s Dianne Hill has won a convincing victory in Thursday’s Borough Council election for the ward of Southborough (South) and High Brooms.
She said said she was delighted by an “amazing” result, having achieved 52 % of the vote in a ward where the leading candidates in recent years have usually taken the seat with only 30-40% of the votes cast.
The turnout of 32 % was similar to the last time a local election was held without a simultaneous General Election.
During the campaign Labour’s Dianne Hill, told voters of her “regret” that the Royal Victoria Hall is to be demolished, while the Conservative candidate, Chris Camp, had said he was “a big supporter” of the new facilities.
After the result on Friday, Dianne Hill told Southborough News: “I am delighted to have been elected again to the Borough Council today with a decisive majority. My victory is a victory for all of the people of Southborough and High Brooms who have said that they have had enough of the secrecy surrounding the development of our town centre.”
She continued: “People living in the town have said they want the chance to see and comment on the plans for the Hub before they are sent for final planning consent. Together with my Labour colleagues on the council I will continue to press for more openness in decision making and better communication with, and involvement of, all of the people and groups who will be using it long after the councillors and planners have gone.”
|Christopher Roger Camp||Conservative||444||26%|
|Keith Murray-Jenkins||UK Independence Party||197||11%|
|Matt Lyons||Green Party||97||6%|
|Jo Wright||Liberal Democrat||91||5%|
Total votes 1,739
The ward is traditionally Labour, but the Conservatives won the ward in May last year.
Compared with last year in the same ward, Conservative votes dropped by 845 while Labour votes dropped by 325.
Compared with May 2014, Labour votes were up by 308 and Conservatives down by 147.
Meanwhile the team behind the Southborough Hub development have issued a new picture of what the new buildings will look like. See below. The four story building on the left is understood to be the replacement for the Royal Victoria Hall. The library has the circular roof and the planned medical centre is somewhere behind in the picture.
The Southborough (South) and High Brooms ward has 3 councillors, who each face re-election every 4 years. After Friday’s vote, the ward’s councillors are now Dianne Hill (Labour), Zulhash Uddin (Conservative) and Graham Munn (Labour).
Southborough North ward has two councillors. They are David Elliott and Joe Simmons who are both Conservatives. There was no voting in Southborough North this year.
Dianne Hill’s victory was the only win for Labour on the Borough Council in this round of voting. The Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, which runs most services and is the planning authority, saw voters electing 13 Conservatives, 2 Liberal Democrats and 1 Labour councillor.
For comparison, here are the past four year’s results:
May 2015 election result for Southborough (South) and High Brooms:
|Marguerita Gladys Morton||Liberal Democrat||325||10%|
Total 3395 voted out of 5331 electorate
May 2014 election result for Southborough (South) and High Brooms:
|Graham John Munn||Labour||602||32%|
|Peter John Oakford||Conservative||591||32%|
|Richard Harrington||UK Independence Party||486||26%|
|Marguerita Gladys Morton||Liberal Democrat||190||10%|
Total 1869 votes
May 2012 election result for Southborough (South) and High Brooms:
|Alain Matthew Bryan Lewis||Labour||630||41%|
|Christine Jennifer Marshall||UK Independence Party||193||13%|
|Marguerita Morton||Liberal Democrat||96||6%|
Total 1523 votes out of 5303 electorate