Saturday, 28 November 2020

Tories score election wins as independent loses seat

JOHN HALSALL will serve a third term as a Wokingham borough councillor after victory in last

JOHN HALSALL will serve a third term as a Wokingham borough councillor after victory in last week’s elections.

Councillor Halsall (Conservative), who was first elected in the Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe ward in 2011, received 930 votes, 704 more than closest challenger Martin Alder (Liberal Democrat).

Stuart Crainer (Labour) came third with 168 votes, while 116 people voted for Kezia Black (Green).

More than 1,400 people in the ward voted, a turnout of 34 per cent. Cllr Halsall, who is married with three grown-up children, is a chartered accountant who moved to Remenham from Henley 35 years ago.

He has been a member of Remenham Parish Council for more than 20 years and is currently chairman. Cllr Halsall succeeded fellow Conservative Claire Stretton on the borough council in a by-election before being re-elected in 2012 after winning 69 per cent of the vote.

He said: “I’d like to thank everybody for all their support. Winning an election is never expected but the level of support is unchanged and I’m very grateful.”

Cllr Halsall said he would focus on schools in Wargrave, including the One School, One Site programme, which is aiming to combine the current Robert Piggott infant and junior schools in one  location.

He has also pledged to improve rail travel and broadband and protect the green belt.

Cllr Halsall said: “I want to sort out the traffic on Remenham Hill in conjunction with my colleagues on the other side of the river.”

In the Charvil ward, incumbent Nick Ray (Independent) lost his seat after narrowly losing out to Conservative Emma Hobbs.

Mr Ray, who was elected in 2012, received 481 votes to Mrs Hobbs’s 493.

Mrs Hobbs, a company administrator, of Old Bath Road, Charvil, previously served as borough councillor for the ward from 2008 to 2012.

Brian Scott (Labour) came third with 73 votes. The turnout in the Charvil ward was 45 per cent.

An uncontested election for Charvil Parish Council means 10 councillors were  re-elected. They are Chris Drew (chairman), James Bell, Liz Black, John Davies, Jim Gillett, John Hobson, Jackie Jeffery, Lauren McCann, Fiona Mowlem and Paul Mundy.

Meanwhile, Anthony Stansfeld has been re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley.

The count went to a second round as no candidate received more than 50 per cent of the first preference vote.

After second preferences had been counted, Conservative Mr Stansfeld won with 54 per cent of the votes with Laetisia Carter (Labour) in second place with 46 per cent.

Around 430,000 votes were cast in the election on Thursday last week, a turnout of 25.6 per cent, compared with 13 per cent at the first commissioner election in 2012.

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