Chairman’s frosty reception for newly elected Wolverton Town councillor

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The chairman of a town council has reacted angrily to the election of a political rival.

Hilary Saunders, the chairman of Wolverton & Greenleys Town Council, blasted former town and borough councillor, Mike Galloway, after he was voted back onto the council yesterday.

Labour’s Mrs Saunders told the Citizen that the Regeneration First politician should really have been standing for ‘Galloway First’.

She said: “I’m disappointed that Labour didn’t win.

“The other councillor (Dave Stevens) is very welcome, but I am not looking forward to having that man back on the council.

“We are in for a unstable time now.”

Mr Galloway was elected in the Wolverton West ward with a majority vote of 286, alongside fellow Regeneration First member David Stevens who won 251 votes.

They beat off the challenge of Labour’s Jean Weeks and Lisa Hodgson, who polled 236 and 221 votes respectively.

The turnout for the ward was 16.34 per cent.

In Greenleys, Labour’s Terri Henry took the seat with 165 votes compared to Regeneration First rival, Lee Hart, who polled 106 votes.

The turnout was 15.65 per cent.

Town councillor, and fellow Regeneration First member, Marie Osborne was more welcoming to Mr Galloway.

She said: “This was a really fantastic result. It is great to have Mike back on the town council.”

But she did add that Mrs Saunders antipathy had been noted.

“At the count, Hilary Saunders welcomed David Stevens to the council, but when it came to Mike she said, “I can’t welcome you’,” she added.

Mr Galloway said: “The turnout was disappointing at 16 per cent, but compared with Milton Keynes Council – which is not much more than 20 per cent in some wards – it is not bad.

“I look forward to working with the rest of the council and the staff there to deliver our election promises.

“Parish councils are real councils that can really do things.”

The town council is currently made up of 16 councillors; seven from Regeneration First, three Independents and six from Labour.

Despite the tension, Mrs Saunders told the Citizen that she did believe it could continue to function efficiently as members generally had the same ideas on the future of Wolverton.

And she welcomed the election of Terri Henry.

“She’s young, just gone 30,” she said.

“I know her through the community cafe. She was very happy to be a candidate and I am sure she will be great.

“Nobody else is younger than 40-something so I think she will be a breath of fresh air.”