Fri, 06 May 2016
THE Liberal Democrats have won the vacant seat on Newbury Town Council with Victoria Ward voters electing Lib Dem candidate Elizabeth O'Keeffe.
Ms O'Keeffe received 487 votes with Conservative candidate Craig Hughes receiving the second highest number of votes with 307.
Green Party Candidate, Steve Wallis, received 173 while Labour's Gary Puffett received 142 votes.
David McMahon, UKIP, received 118 votes with independent candidates David Yates and Lee McDougall receiving 23 and 20 respectively.
The by-election was triggered when Conservative councillor Emma Green stood down from her post in February.
Yesterday's victory means that the Lib Dems now have six members on the Town Council, however the Conservatives still hold a strong majority with 17 councillors.
Ms O'Keeffe will now join conservative councillors Miles Evans, James Frederickson and Mike Johnson in representing residents in Victoria Ward.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News a delighted Mrs O'Keeffe said: "We have done what we do best and build from the roots up and I think that can be seen on a national level too - people are starting to look at the Liberal Democrats again.
"I think people do care about the local elections, you have the same experiences as they do and that's what you get when you go door to door.
"A 34 per cent turn out for a by-election was a good turn out and so it's the people of Victoria Ward who are the winners.
"If I have strength it is that I'm a people person.
"It's about understanding other people's needs.
"It's going to be a hard slog now but the things that the people are suffering from in Newbury are still there and something needs to be done."
Ms O’Keeffe was a Liberal Democrat town councillor in Victoria ward for four years up until May 2015 and continues to regularly attend town and West Berks District council meetings.
Chief executive of Newbury Town Council Hugh Peacocke said: "Congratulations to Elizabeth on her return to the council and we look forward to working with her."