Tears of victory flowed in Henley just before midnight last night (Thursday) when the widow of former mayor Terry Buckett won her late husband’s seat on the town council.
And in a double victory at the by-election for Henley Residents’ Group, the Mayor of Henley, Cllr Elizabeth Hodgkin won Mr Buckett’s vacant seat on South Oxfordshire District Council.
An emotional but delighted Mrs Buckett said after the result at around 11.20pm: "I did this for Terry to carry on his work but I also did it for the people of Henley. I will not let them down.
"This is not about politics. I am not interested in political infighting. The message I was getting when I was out campaigning was that people were telling me they had faith in me to continue Terry’s work. They said they had lost a great man and I want to now go forward in his place."
Mrs Buckett, 58, of Vicarage Road, was cheered and warmly congratulated by her family and her supporters when the vote was announced.
Cllr Hodgkin, of Nicholas Road, said: "This week has been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us, especially Pauline who has done magnificently.
"I am delighted to have been given the opportunity by the people of Henley to carry on Terry’s work on the district council. I think he would have liked the fact someone he knew has taken his place.
"I think he would have been especially proud of Pauline tonight," said Cllr Hodgkin.
In the by-election for the Henley South Ward seat on Henley Town Council, Pauline Buckett (HRG) polled 633 votes to beat her nearest rival, Will Hamilton (Conservative) who polled 479 votes to Richard West’s (Liberal Democrat) 114 votes.
In the by-election for the Henley South seat on the district council Cllr Hodgkin (HRG) polled 642 votes, David Silvester (Conservative) 472 votes and George Levy (Liberal Democrat) 110 votes in the district by-election. There were 12 spoilt papers in each of the town and district counts.