Half a town in Milton Keynes turns out to settle parish election battle
More than half of Olney’s 5,097 electors took part in last week’s town council poll after a battle where 22 candidates fought it out for 15 seats.
A raft of councillor resignations in the run up to last week’s elections, as well as allegations about the conduct of councillors and the atmosphere at meetings, lit up Olney Town Council’s Facebook page in the run up to polling day
At the election on Thursday, May 6, the public responded by voting in their droves.
The parish has an electorate of 5,097 and 2,630 ballot papers were issued, giving a turnout of 51.6 per cent.
Many of the winning candidates garnered over 1,000 votes each, with only three of the previous councillors holding on to their seats.
The new Olney Town Council is: Trevor James Aldred, Dee Bethune, Naomi Brock, Ben Brown, Philip Joseph Geach, Peter Geary, Debbie Kay Hall, David George Pibworth, Colin Scott Rodden, Dan Rowland, Ian Stuart Stokes, Christopher Neil Tennant, Jane Melanie Varley, Leanne Ward and Debbie Whitworth.
In Weston Underwood they had a massive 60 per cent turnout when 120 of the 200 electors in the ward turned out to decide which of the six candidates should fill the five available seats.
John Thomas Covington, Mark John Covington, Jeremy Victor Howson, Julia
Vanessa Reynolds, and Brian Stainton were elected.
Rob Gilbert was the unlucky candidate, finishing bottom of the voting pile with 48 crosses marked against his name.
The Women’s Equality Party saw Amanda Carter-Philpott narrowly become her party’s first ever elected councillor in the Milton Keynes borough, when she claimed 206 votes in Bletchley and Fenny Stratford’s Queensway & Denbigh North Ward.
Ron Haine was also elected with 307 votes, and both beat Ayesha Khanom who won 198 votes.
In Bletchley and Fenny Stratford – Central Bletchley Ward Richard Graham beat Andrew Palmer by 151 votes to 79 on aturnout of 32.4 per cent.
In Bletchley and Fenny Stratford – Manor North Ward, Liz Campbell beat Linda Craig Forbes by 300 votes to 28 on a turn out of 40.14 per cent.
Over in Stony Stratford North Ward two Labour councillors who had stepped down from Milton Keynes Council squeezed a out long standing councillor to take the two available seats.
Hannah O’Neil, latterly the deputy leader of MK Council, won 469 votes, with her Labour colleague and former Stony borough councillor Charlie Wilson-Marklew garnering 243 votes.
The heavy hitters’ pincer movement squeezed out long standing Stony councillor Pet Thornborough by just five votes, who finished on 243 votes on a ward turn out of 50.53 per cent.
In Stony Stratford’s West Ward Tom Welch (429 votes) and MK Council alderman Paul Bartlett (360 votes), squeezed out Thomas Edwards (351) by just nine votes in another cliffhanger.
A whopping 59.1 per cent of West Ward’s 1,433 electors took part in the election.
More than 100 parish and town councillors in other areas around the borough were elected unopposed – because there weren’t enough candidates to make a fight of it.