Friday, 15 December 2017

As it happened: Henley election count

The town and parish council election results have been announced.

4.30pm update: That concludes our live blog on what's been another great day for the Conservative Party.

They bagged a town council majority to go with their national and district dominance.

Pick up a copy of next week's Henley Standard for a full round-up of all this week's results.

4.00pm update: The parish election results have also been announced.

In Goring, councillors Emrhys Barrell, David Brooker, Matthew Brown, Mary Bulmer, Catherine Hall, Lawrie Reavill, John Wills and deputy chairman Kevin Bulmer kept their seats.

The new councillors are Brandon Hancox and Bryan Urbick. Abel Westerhof, another prospective newcomer, was not elected and Alan Strong, who was the council's chairman, chose not to stand again.

In Whitchurch, Pearl Slatter lost her place as eight candidates contested seven seats. Existing councillors Vincent Aldridge, Jim Donahue, Laura Lucas, vice-chairman Keith Brooks and chairman Harry Butterworth remain on the council.

They will be joined by newcomers James Norman and David Bowen.

Finally, in Watlington, parish council chairman Ian Hill was re-elected, as were councillors Elizabeth Winton, Bob West, Robin Wilson and Tony Williamson.

Also elected were newcomers Jo Read, Tom Bindoff, Terry Jackson, Jane Bryant, Roger Beattie, Rachel Huckvale, Matt Reid, Jeremy Bell and Jon Lorimer.

Vice-chairman David Tindale did not stand, nor did councillors Robert Barber, Roddy Orr and Nick Greaves.

Councillors Tim Horton, Nick Hancock, Rhian Woods and Neil Boddington were not elected, nor were prospective newcomers Rob Smith, Gus McFadyen and Alastair Stevenson.

3.30pm update: So the next Henley Town Council has been decided.

Conservatives Sam Evans, Martin Akehurst, Helen Chandler-Wilde, Julian Brookes, Will Hamilton, Lorraine Hillier, David Nimmo Smith, Simon Smith and Dylan Thomas will join HRG's Ian Reissmann, David Eggleton, Jane Smewing, Sarah Abey, Kellie Hinton, Stefan Gawrysiak and Sarah Miller.

Stay with us for the parish results. 3.15pm update: Jane Smewing (HRG) is elected to the council after her name was drawn from a hat ahead of Rowan Fuller (Con).

She joins fellow HRG candidates Sarah Abey, Kellie Hinton, Stefan Gawrysiak and Sarah Miller, and Conservatives Martin Akehurst, Helen Chandler-Wilde and Sam Evans.

The results confirm that the Conservatives have won a majority, securing nine of the 16 seats. HRG have seven councillors.

3.05pm update: The final seat will be decided on a coin toss after a tie between Rowan Fuller (Con) and Jane Smewing (HRG).

Regardless of who wins that, the Conservatives have secured a majority on the council.

2.40pm update: The results for the North ward have been announced and all six Tory candidates have indeed been elected.

Julian Brookes, Will Hamilton, Lorraine Hillier, David Nimmo Smith, Simon Smith and Dylan Thomas all won seats. They are joined by HRG candidates Ian Reissmann and David Eggleton.

David Silvester (Ind) lost his seat with just 306 votes, along with Elizabeth Hodgkin (Ind).

A recount of the votes for the South ward has just been called because of a tie for the eighth seat between two candidates, with a third a further four votes back.

If the recount also shows a tie, the final place on the council will be decided by a coin toss.

2.00pm update: The North ward is about to be announced and it looks like all six Conservative candidates will be successful.

Waiting for confirmation but Will Hamilton was seen literally jumping for joy.

1.10pm update: Will Hall, who lost his seat as a Conservative district councillor last night, is here to support the Tories.

He said: "It was a pleasure to represent the town I grew up in for four years. Obviously it's a disappointing result but it's not the end of my involvement in the town."

Jeni Wood (Ind) and Kellie Hinton (HRG) have both said they were "sad" to see Hall lose his seat.

Cllr Wood, who also failed in her district bid, added: "Obviously I'm very sorry to lsoe my seat. I worked hard while I was there to represent the residents of Henley."

Returning officer Steven Corrigan has just addressed the room. He said the North and South ward results are currently being totted up on the computer.

12.25pm update: Ian Petrie, Green Party candidate in the North ward, said: "I'm walking around and it's looking encouraging.

"It's about giving people the opportunity to vote for us. I do not think we will get people on the council but we will be close behind."

David Silvester (Ind) has wished luck to "friends from both HRG and the Conservatives", while town clerk Mike Kennedy has now arrived at the town hall.

Kevin Bulmer, who was last night elected as a district councillor for Goring, is waiting with his wife Mary for the village's parish election count, which will follow the town council results.

11.30am update: HRG candidate David Eggleton is optimistic about his chances.

He said: "I'm feeling confident. Looking at the ballot sheets it seems I'm in with an excellent chance.

"If the people are confident with me then that tells a story in itself."

The rejected ballots for the North ward, where Mr Eggleton is standing, have been counted. Candidates including Stefan Gawrysiak (HRG), Ian Petrie (G), David Silvester (Ind) and Lorraine Hillier (Con) watched the count.

We expecting the North ward results first.

11.00am update: The floor is thick with possible future town councillors now, all awaiting the first announcement.

The counters are using the butterfly sheets system, where ballot papers are attached to larger sheets before being counted. Yesterday's district council elections used the greenskirt sheets system, which involves marking by hand.

Mayor Martin Akehurst said: "This is a lot quicker than yesterday." He added: "I don't know about the town election, it's difficult to call because there's so many people on the sheets.

"We know it's a good turnout because they were queuing at polling stations and the staff at the stations told us the turnout was better than the last two or three elections."

10.00am update: The count is underway at the town hall, with dozens of volunteers sifting through the green ballot papers.

The candidates have begun to gather in a corner of the room with the first announcement due at about 11am.

8.30 am: After two nights which saw the Conservative party take control of both the country and South Oxfordshire, residents in Henley will now find out who is to represent them on the town council.

A total of 31 hopefuls will be at the town hall from 10am to find out if they have been elected at this morning's count, and the Henley Standard is on hand with all the results, reaction and colour as it happens.

Bookmark this page for all the results as they are announced, and follow us on Twitter, @henleystandard or like our Facebook page and keep track of our updates there.

Of the current town council, 13 councillors are standing for re-election, including newly-elected South Oxfordshire district councillors Martin Akehurst (Conservative) and Stefan Gawrysiak (Henley Residents' Group) in the south ward and David Nimmo Smith and Lorraine Hillier (both Con) in the north ward.

The others are Sam Evans, Dieter Hinke (both Con), Kellie Hinton (HRG), Pam Phillips and Jeni Wood (both independent) in the south ward, and Will Hamilton (Con), Ian Reissmann (HRG), Elizabeth Hodgkin and David Silvester (both Ind) in the north ward.

For the Tories, Helen Chandler-Wilde, Rowan Fuller and Fiona Galton-Fenzi will be standing in the south ward, while Julian Brooks, Simon Smith and Dylan Thomas are up for the north ward.

HRG will be hoping to wrestle back control of the council and has entered eight new candidates. They are Sara Abey, Glen Lambert, Sarah Miller and Jane Smewing in the south ward and David Eggleton, Bruce Mason, Simon Narracott and Karan Takhar in the north ward.

Elisabeth Geake and Ian Petrie will stand for the Greens in the south ward and Richard Rule in the north ward. The final candidate is Neill Hendry, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in the north ward.

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