Mixed news for political parties in Morpeth

MORPETH’S new county councillor has spoken of his delight at getting elected.

Conservative David Bawn won the keenly contested Morpeth North seat on the authority with a majority of 99 and it marks a breakthrough for the party in the ward after years of Labour and Liberal Democrat representation.

But there was disappointment at the town council count because he lost out in a close vote and a strong performance in Morpeth Kirkhill helped the Lib Dems to retain its overall majority.

It has nine councillors, compared to just one from the Conservatives and one from Labour.

The Green party did very well in the town council election, with both candidates securing seats, and it was the same outcome for the two independent candidates, who came to prominence with their involvement in the Lights Out group.

Coun Bawn believes two policies in particular were key to his county council victory.

“I’m honoured to represent the people of Morpeth North and I’m delighted that the Conservatives have made history by winning this seat,” he said.

“It helped that we had a clear message on the doorstep about our policy to make parking free for residents in the north and west market towns and I’m confident that the new council will carry out this policy.

“People also stressed how much they wanted the Telford Bridge traffic lights to be removed and that is my other main priority once I get to County Hall.

“I’m also looking forward to working with the other councillors on the authority to drive forward improvements.”

Liberal Democrats Coun Andrew Tebbutt and Coun Ian Lindley held onto their county council Morpeth Kirkhill and Morpeth Stobhill seats respectively, albeit with reduced majorities.

But later in the day when the town council results were announced, the mood among the Morpeth Lib Dems was more upbeat. Although it lost a couple of councillors, it was still comfortably the largest party on the authority.

Coun David Parker was one of its five returning members – three of which came in the Kirkhill ward.

He said: “We have regularly communicated with residents about a range of local issues, which was recognised on the doorstep.

“I feel greatly honoured to be elected for the fourth time by the people in the south end of Morpeth and I’m looking forward to working with my council colleagues over the next four years.”

Coun Tebbutt added that all the councillors on the authority will work together and with other Morpeth and Northumberland organisations in the best interests of the town, as was the case in the previous six-year term.

Coun Nic Best, one of the two Green party councillors elected (the other was Ron Forster), said: “It’s an excellent result for us and I hope we can do a good job for Morpeth. I’m grateful to the voters for electing me once again.

“Ron is someone who is well-known in the town and I’m delighted that he has won a seat.”