After the Election Part 2 – the way forward

Thursday 19th May saw the first meeting of South Somerset District Council.

We chose Ric Pallister to be Leader of the Council and he has made me a Cabinet member with the “Regulatory and Democratic Services” portfolio to look after. (The SSDC Press Release can be seen here and the full list of appointments is here).

John Richardson, your other Ward Councillor, was elected to the important Audit Committee. This committee makes sure that taxpayers money is spent wisely and that it is all accounted properly.

Of course, for both of us these are distractions from our primary task, which is to ensure that Brympton residents are looked after and that their voice is heard. That is the real honour, being elected as Brympton’s representatives.

The Election results here in Brympton

I am pleased to say that after a tough campaign, John and I remain your District Councillors.

Now that we know the full story, it’s clear we were right to be worried. A very effective campaign led by Graham Pritchard (who also enjoyed a very strong personal following in the ballot) meant that part way through the day we were neck-and-neck and Brympton’s two seats meant that control of the Council was in serious doubt.

In the late afternoon, both sides went all out to find their missing voters and some people (especially neighbours and friends) had a very unexpected late evening knock on the door. I even met Veronica doing my own street.

The response we got to the “knock-up” was brilliant and the last, crucial 133 votes were all cast in the last hour, with the very last voter arriving at 9:58 pm!

The results are:

  1. Peter Seib, 1123 votes
  2. John Richardson, 925 votes
  3. Graham Pritchard, 792 votes
  4. Veronica Venables, 702 votes

With good weather and both parties trying hard, turnout was a full 8% of the electorate up on the 2007 election.

John and I would particularly like to thank all those kind people who took a moment to say a friendly word on the doorstep, or at the Polling Station after casting their vote. “Feel-good” moments are rare in politics and those personal thanks are the best of the best.

The SSDC elections have, happily, resulted in no change in political control.

  • Liberal Democrat seats – 31 – (loss of 6 seats.)
  • Conservative Party seats – 25 – (gain of 8 seats.)
  • Independent seats – 4 – (loss of 2 seats.)

Key here in Yeovil is the loss of two seats in Yeovil South (due to the vote being split with Labour and the Green Party) and one in the Cokers (under an unwarranted fear of development). For the first time in a while, there will be three Conservatives on SSDC’s Area South Committee. My main fear is that the collaborative, cross-bench working which South Somerset is famous for may be the price we pay for this power struggle.

Other than that we had a fairly robust result and South Somerset DC remains the blob of orange on the UK local government map.

The results for the 39 district wards, showing the number of votes given to each candidate and who was elected for each ward, are on SSDC’s Local elections results page. The district turnout was 47.66%.

John and I will now move on to deliver our pledges and to serve all of you to the best of our ability.

Peter Seib, 6th May 2011