LibDems retain town council control

County Council elections'Andrew Tebbutt
County Council elections'Andrew Tebbutt

LIBERAL Democrats have retained control of Morpeth Town Council, winning nine out of 15 seats.

The Party claimed four out of five seats in each of the Kirkhill and Stobhill wards, but took just one in Morpeth North, where Greens and Independents made their mark.

Veteran Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Tebbutt attracted the most votes of all town council candidates, taking 804 in Kirkhill.

The other successful candidates in the ward were South Morpeth Coalition campaigner Joan Tebbutt with 697 votes, council stalwart David Parker, who took 685 votes, and Ken Brown with 679 votes.

Completing the list was Labour’s Adrian Slassor, who took 530 votes.

Conservative Dave Herne lost his seat, winning just 525 votes, and there was disappointment for 20-year-old Conservative Jack Gebhard, who lost out by just one vote with 529.

It was a poor result for the Conservatives generally in the ward, with Charlotte Peacock (446 votes) and Richard Wearmouth (388 votes) bringing up the rear.

In Stobhill, newcomers Alison Byard (673 votes), Stuart Lishman (547 votes) and Dave Pope (515 votes) were elected for the Liberal Democrats, along with former Mayor Mark Horton (569 votes).

Rachel Moore, for the Conservatives, claimed the last seat in the ward with 442 votes, leaving Liberal Democrat Mark Owen behind on 409.

Morpeth North provided the most variety of candidates and the result reflected that.

Council stalwart Nic Best, who is the longest serving member of the town council, stormed ahead for the Green party with 794 votes.

He was followed by Independents Bob Robertson (688 votes) and David Clark (675 votes), who were founder members of the Lights Out campaign, which seeks the removal of the Telford Bridge traffic signals.

Experienced councillor Les Cassie took fourth place for the Liberal Democrats with 650 votes, and he was followed by newcomer Minister Ron Forster, who secured 630 votes for the Green Party.

Conservative David Bawn, who took the county council seat for Morpeth North earlier in the day, missed out with 591 votes.

And Liberal Democrats Graeme Trotter, who was a leading member of the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan group, and Richard Thompson also failed to scrape through, with 529 votes and 556 respectively.

Again there was disappointment for the Conservatives, with Nicola Bawn (448 votes) and Johnny Wearmouth (413) propping up the list.