Sunday, 29 November 2020

As it happened: District Council results

9.06pm update: The final results are in. This is everything you need to know about the South Oxfordshire District Council results affecting residents in Henley and the surrounding areas.

8.55pm update: That's it for Henley and the surrounding villages. A total of 12 councillors were elected in seven wards, 11 of those Conservative.

Stefan Gawrysiak was the sole HRG councillor to be elected.

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

8.45pm update: And here it is! David Nimmo Smith (Con) is elected to Woodcote and Rotherfield with a total of 2,710 votes.

Councillor Nimmo Smith will now sit on the district, county and town councils but says he is confident in his abilities. He is joined by 24-year-old Charles Bailey (Con).

Cllr Nimmo Smith said: "I'll have a very busy agenda but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I've been on the district council before and I'm familiar with the roles and responsibility."

Cllr Bailey added: "It's fantastic, I'm really happy."

8.40pm update:

Tables are being packed away as we reach the seven hour mark. We're still waiting for the result of the Woodcote and Rotherfield ward, where five candidates are hoping to be elected.

8.30pm update: Cllrs Akehurst and Harrison were indeed elected with 2,432 and 2,444 votes respectively.

Cllr Akehurst, who is joined tonight by his wife Glynnis, said: "Paul and I have worked well as a team and clearly it's gone very well. I'm very pleased with the result."

Both councillors spoke about the importance of the Sonning Common neighbourhood development plan in the next five years.

8.20pm update: Henley Mayor Martin Akehurst looks to have been elected to the Sonning Common ward along with fellow Conservative Paul Harrison. Waiting for confirmation.

8.00pm update: Results coming thick and fast now and Felix Bloomfield is the latest Conservative to hold his seat.

Cllr Bloomfield was elected to the Benson and Crowmarsh ward with 2,247 votes, alongside Richard Pullen (Con) with 1,170 votes.

He said: "Naturally I'm delighted. I would like to thank the people of Benson, Crowmarsh and the surrounding villages for voting me in again."

Cllr Pullen added: "I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues. I feel I have something to offer on both finance and environment."

7.50pm update Lorraine Hillier (Con), who has won back her Henley seat after she was ousted in 2011, said: "I'm absolutely delighted, I can't believe I polled that high.

"I'm really thankful to the people who voted for me. I'm looking forward to working with the team at the district council and being involved on the committees."

Stefan Gawrysiak, newly elected to the Henley ward, added: "I'm hugely pleased to be elected. I will work extremely hard for the people of Henley abnd I'm really pleased that HRG got so many votes."

7.40pm update: The rumours are confirmed. Will Hall loses out as Stefan Gawrysiak (HRG), Lorraine Hillier (Con) and Joan Bland (Con) are elected to the three Henley seats.

An emotional Hall has returned and is being comforted by friends and family.

Full results were as follows: Arlett (UKI) 939; Bland (Con) 2234; Gawrysiak (HRG) 2139; Geake (Gre) 671; Hall (Con) 2050; Hendry (LD) 502; Hillier (Con) 2445; Hodgkin (Ind) 1175; Jones (UKI) 467; Kavanagh (Lab) 499; Narracott (HRG) 1231; Petrie (Gre) 595; Rule (Gre) 370; Thomas (LD) 451; and Wood (Ind) 730. The count took an epic five and a half hours to complete.

7.30pm update: Still waiting for Henley but rumours are swirling that Will Hall (Con) has lost his seat.

Hall has now left the building.

7.20pm update: We are expecting the results for Henley soon, more than five hours after the count began.

Remember, 47 ballot papers had to be rejected after voters put a cross in more than three boxes.

Returning officer David Buckle says he expects to make the announcement in five minutes' time.

7.00pm update: Another Conservative hold and this time it's Anna Badcock who has retained her seat in Watlington.

Cllr Badcock received 1,462 votes, more than 1,000 votes ahead of nearest challenger Tom Bindoff (G).

She said: "I'm delighted to have been voted back in and I'm determined to carry through the pledges I've made."

6:35pm update: Rob Simister (Con - pictured) has held on to his seat in the Kidmore End and Whitchurch ward. He won 1,073 votes, a majority of more than 500.

Cllr Simister saw off competition from Keith Brooks (Ind), Harry Butterworth (Lib), Peter Dragonetti (G) and Amanda Holland (Lab).

He said: "I feel very, very gateful to the people who voted for me. There are a lot of issues to address and I will do a professional job and be a good public servant."

6.10pm update: Kevin Bulmer (Con) has been elected in the Goring ward with a total of 1,264 votes.

He said: "I'm very pleased. It reflects the good work that my predecessor Ann Ducker did for the ward and the good work that the Conservative party have done in the area.

Cllr Bulmer said it was clear when he was out canvassing that people were feeling a "bit disenfranchised" with UKIP and there had been a change in attitude.

He beat James Norman (G), Caroline Wardle (Lib) and Fran Wright (Lab).

Still no sign of an announcement for Henley, four hours after the count started.

5.25pm update: The Goring count has just begun.

5.15pm update: David Nimmo Smith (Con), standing for Woodcote and Rotherfield, is the latest candidate to voice his frustrations over the delay.

He said: "There must be a quicker way of doing it in this day of technology. There's room for error in this."

Joan Bland (Con), for Henley, added: "There's not much point being here as we can't get a feel of who is ahead and who is not."

5.00 update: Three hours in and no results for the Henley ward or the surrounding villages.

Candidates are starting to express their frustration. Lorraine Hillier (Con), for Henley, said: "I think it's taking too long. I don't like the system they're using.

"This isn't visual and what if there's a recount? They will have to start at stage one again."

Jeni Wood (Ind), for Henley, is due to compere a drama festival in the town tonight.

She added: "Someone said they will text me the result. I would love to be here but it's just taking too long.

4.50 update: David Nimmo Smith (Con), standing for Woodcote and Rotherfield, said: "I'm confident. The canvassing we've done shows there's a lot of Conservative support out there."

Cllr Nimmo Smith is going for a clean sweep of local council positions today. He already sits on Oxfordshire County Council and Henley Town Council.

4.40pm update: Looks like last night's proceedings have taken their toll on returning officer David Buckle. Mr Buckle had his deputy Pippa Rugman read out one of the recent results so he could "save his voice".

Still no sign of a result in Henley following earlier issued with rejected ballots.

Sonning Common candidate Paul Harrison said: "Money could be well spent on an IT system to replace what we have today, which is 200 years old."

4.00pm update: Ken Arlett, UKIP candidate for Henley, said: "I'm fairly positive that we will get a top six finish. It looks to me as if people have just come out and voted for the particular group that they voted for in the general election."

Lorraine Hillier, Conservative candidate for Henley, is reaping the benefit of the Conservative victory nationally. She places a £10 bet at Ladbrokes in Henley earlier this week on a Tory majority Government.

She said: "The odds were 10/1. I wish I'd put £1,000 on! You've got to put your money where your mouth is and I had a gut feeling we would win."

3.45pm update: Tom Bindoff, Green candidate for Watlington, said: "The democratic process does require people to put themselves up even if the chances of success are very remote in the short term.

"I think it would be a great education for all youngsters to come and see how the democratic process works."

Anna Badcock, incumbent (Con) for Watlington, said: "I think I work hard because I don't believe any seat is a given and every single candidate has to work hard for all the votes that they get."

Counters are working hard but still have time for snacks. Chocolate bars and raisins are among the treats being munched down. 3.26pm update: 47 ballot papers for Henley have more than three votes.They have been declared void and will not count towards the vote.

3.20pm update: Candidates have gathered around the counting table for the Henley ward as there seem to be several ballot papers with more than three crosses.

Henley is now a three member ward but voters appear to confused about how many candidates to vote for.

Mayor of Henley Martin Akehurst, who is standing in the Sonning Common ward, said: "There are far less candidates than in Henley. The Conservative turnout seems to be more than 70 per cent so hopefully I'm within spitting distance."

3pm update: The three minute silence was impeccably observed. Counters have now returned to the ballot papers.

Jeni Wood, standing for Henley as in independent said: "I'm apprehensive, it's now one ward and I don't think that was made clear to the electorate really."

"We have 450 new houses in Henley so there will be more people to take care of."

2.36pm: The election count for Henley has gotten underway at White Horse Leisure Centre.

Counting began at 2pm and candidates have begun to arrive hoping they will be celebrating this evening.

There will be a three minute silence at 3pm to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

1.40pm update: After an exciting night which defied pollsters' predictions, saw the establishment of a Conservative majority government, and the resignations of three opposition party leaders, attention now turns to the results of the South Oxfordshire District Council.

More than 40 hopefuls from the Henley area will find out if they have been elected at this afternoon'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.

Candidates are standing across seven wards - Henley, Benson and Crowmarsh, Watlington, Kidmore End and Whitchurch, Sonning Common, Goring, and Woodcote and Rotherfield, with the count starting at 2pm.

In Henley, incumbents Joan Bland (Conservative), Will Hall (Con), Elizabeth Hodgkin (Independent) and Jeni Wood (Ind) are all standing for re-election.

They are joined by former Henley mayors Stefan Gawrysiak (Henley Residents' Group) and Ken Arlett (UKIP). Lorraine Hillier (Con), Elizabeth Geake, Ian Petrie, Richard Rule (all Green), Neill Hendry, David Thomas (both Liberal Democrat), Chris Jones (UKIP), Cornelius Kavanagh (Labour) and Simon Narracott (HRG) are also standing for the three seats.

In Benson and Crowmarsh, incumbent Felix Bloomfield (Con) is joined by Sue Cooper, George Levy (both Lib), Jim Merritt, Adam Wood (both Lab) and Andrea Powell (G).

Anna Badcock (Con) is standing again for the one seat in Watlington, alongside Tom Bindoff (G), Tony Winters (Lab) and Catherine Hughes (Lib).

Rob Simister (Con) is standing for re-election in Kidmore End and Whitchurch, alongside Keith Brooks (Ind), Harry Butterworth (Lib), Peter Dragonetti (G) and Amanda Holland (Lab).

In Sonning Common, Henley Mayor Martin Akehurst is standing for the Conservatives, alongside incumbent Paul Harrison. Married couple Andy and Jill Davies are both standing for the Liberal Democrats, while the other candidates are David Winchester, Chris Wright (both Lab) and Alison Smart (G).

In Goring, incumbent Pearl Slatter (Con) will not stand for re-election. She will be replaced by either Kevin Bulmer (Con), James Norman (G), Caroline Wardle (Lib) or Fran Wright (Lab).

Woodcote and Rotherfield will have a new councillor after UKIP's Christopher Quinton opted not to stand. Henley town councillor and Oxfordshire county councillor David Nimmo Smith (Con) is standing alongside Charles Bailey (Con), David Cooper (Lib), Veronica Treacher (Lab) and Andrew Wallis (G).

Meanwhile, nationally, John Howell has retained his seat as Member of Parliament for Henley with a majority of 25,375 votes.

The Conservative was re-elected with 32,292 votes. His nearest rival, Labour candidate Sam Juthani received 6,917 votes.

The count for the Henley Town Council election will take place from 10am to 2pm at Henley town hall tomorrow (Saturday).

All results for the Henley Standard circulation area and reaction from the candidates will be published at and on Twitter @henleystandard

A full report with pictures will appear in next week?s Henley Standard.

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