Wealden District Council election, 2003

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Map of the results of the 2003 Wealden council election. Conservatives in blue, Liberal Democrats in yellow and independents in grey.

The 2003 Wealden District Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of Wealden District Council in East Sussex, England. The whole council was up for election with boundary changes since the last election in 1999 reducing the number of seats by 3.[1] The Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.[2]

Background[edit]

At the last election in 1999 the Conservatives won 34 seats, compared to 22 for the Liberal Democrats and 2 independents.[3] In November 2003 the Conservatives gained 2 seats from the Liberal Democrats in a by-election in Uckfield,[4] but the Liberal Democrats took one seat back in the same ward in a June 2002 by-election.[5]

The Liberal Democrats also lost seats after 2 Hailsham councillors, Nick and Madeline Ellwood, were expelled from the party, and a further 2, John Glover and Ian Haffenden, resigned from the party in protest.[6] The 4 councillors who resigned formed a Wealden Independents party, while the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the council, Allan Thurley, stepped down over the expulsions and was succeeded by Eddie Rice.[7]

A total of 133 candidates stood for the 55 seats in 35 wards being contested, after boundary changes reduced the number of seats from 58.[3][8] The changes increased the number of seats in Crowborough and Uckfield, while combining some of the rural seats.[3]

Campaign[edit]

A major issue at the election was council tax after it increased by 18%, 5.1% of which was due to Wealden Council.[3] The Conservatives blamed the increase on the government providing a poor grant to the council, while the Liberal Democrats called for the council tax to be replaced by a local income tax.[3] Another issue was housing with the Conservatives called for more land to be released for low cost housing, but the Liberal Democrats attacked the number of houses to be built, saying the infrastructure needed to be improved first.[3] Both the Labour party and local independents also campaigned against the 1,300 houses to be built in Hailsham, with the independents saying more houses should be built in the north of the council area.[3]

The Conservatives said they would tackle littering and continue the household recycling scheme, while the Liberal Democrats called for policing to be improved and for the council to be modernised.[3] Meanwhile, Labour aimed to win their first seat on the council in Uckfield and called for the council to abolish the reduction in council tax for second homes.[3][9]

Election result[edit]

The Conservatives stayed in control of the council with 34 seats, while the Liberal Democrats took 15 seats and independents won 6.[10] Few seats changed parties, with the Conservatives keeping a 13-seat majority.[8] The changes that did happen included the Liberal Democrat group leader Eddie Rice losing his seat in Rotherfield and the Liberal Democrats were also defeated in Polegate South, where Ivy Scarborough, a Residents Association candidate was successful.[10][11] Independents were also successful in Crowborough and Hailsham, while Labour failed to take any seats.[10] Overall turnout at the election was 35%, up from 33.5% in 1999.[12]

Wealden local election result 2003[2][13]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 34 -1 61.8 49.4 31,769
  Liberal Democrat 15 -2 27.3 35.0 22,515
  Independent 6 0 10.9 9.5 6,142
  Labour 0 0 0 3.9 2,534
  Green 0 0 0 1.9 1,246
  UKIP 0 0 0 0.2 137

3 Conservative candidates were unopposed at the election.[13]

Ward results[edit]

Alfriston[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Keith Whitehead 673 67.3
Liberal Democrat Caroline Adcock 327 32.7
Majority 346 34.6
Turnout 1,000 49.5
Buxted and Maresfield (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Patricia Kennedy 904
Conservative Norman Buck 862
Green Peter Selby 357
Independent Ken Ogden 314
Liberal Democrat Graham Morgan 293
Turnout 2,730 36.2
Chiddingly and East Hoathly[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Sylvia Tidy unopposed
Cross-in-Hand/Five Ashes[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Jonica Fox 511 69.0
Liberal Democrat Michael Bryant 177 23.9
Green Jennifer Evans 53 7.2
Majority 334 45.1
Turnout 741 38.2
Crowborough East (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Carolyn Clark 555
Liberal Democrat Ian Mein 540
Conservative Anthony Edwards 422
Conservative Neil Waller 408
Labour Derek Sivers 118
Turnout 2,043 27.5
Crowborough Jarvis Brook[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Ian McKirgan 222 39.0
Liberal Democrat Peter Bucklitsch 221 38.8
Conservative Brian Hewitt 126 22.1
Majority 1 0.2
Turnout 569 28.8
Crowborough North (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Chantal Wilson 1,038
Conservative Hector Munro 671
Liberal Democrat Nigel Mahony 328
Labour Sonja Le Vay 201
Independent Michael Wallman 131
Turnout 2,369 35.8
Crowborough St Johns[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Richard Broughton-Tompkins 458 75.3
Liberal Democrat Hilary Lyon 103 16.9
Labour Jean McCarthy 47 7.7
Majority 355 58.4
Turnout 608 32.0
Crowborough West (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Diane Phillips 814
Conservative Antony Quin 812
Liberal Democrat Edward Willis 394
Labour Brendan Clegg 238
Turnout 2,258 32.2
Danehill/Fletching/Nutley (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Sylvia Martin 1,052
Conservative Bernard Brown 1,024
Liberal Democrat John Stevens 571
Turnout 2,647 39.6
East Dean[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Brian West 612 67.8
Liberal Democrat Robert Hillman 290 32.2
Majority 322 35.7
Turnout 902 46.9
Forest Row (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Rowena Moore 708
Conservative Raymond Parsons 668
Liberal Democrat Linda Graham 526
Labour Norma McNamara 270
Turnout 2,172 33.5
Framfield[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Gore 563 64.9
Liberal Democrat Susanna Mockridge 168 19.4
UKIP Keith Riddle 137 15.8
Majority 395 45.5
Turnout 868 42.2
Frant/Withyham (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Christopher Abergavenny 827
Conservative Lynda Myers 822
Liberal Democrat Briony Taylor 431
Green Keith Obbard 404
Labour Michael Clare 179
Turnout 2,663 38.6
Hailsham Central & North (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Paul Holbrook 494
Liberal Democrat Laura Murphy 434
Conservative Richard West 425
Conservative John Ball 419
Independent John Glover 348
Independent Madeleine Ellwood 344
Labour Steven Jordan 146
Turnout 2,610 32.1
Hailsham East[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Nigel Coltman 170 33.7
Liberal Democrat Brian Cock 128 25.3
Labour Dudley Rose 113 22.4
Independent William Crittenden 94 18.6
Majority 42 8.3
Turnout 505 26.6
Hailsham South and West (3)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Geoffrey Rowe 713
Independent Jonathan Ellwood 702
Independent Ian Haffenden 685
Liberal Democrat Sharon Cottingham 572
Conservative Sybil Bentley 567
Liberal Democrat Edward Powell 554
Liberal Democrat Gavin Blake-Coggins 551
Conservative Jeffery Bentley-Astor 524
Conservative John Kent 511
Turnout 5,379 28.7
Hartfield[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Jeremy Hollins unopposed
Heathfield East[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Janice Dunk 443 69.9
Liberal Democrat John Evans 191 30.1
Majority 252 39.7
Turnout 634 34.8
Heathfield North and Central (3)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Richard Angel 1,082
Conservative Margaret Kirkpatrick 1,063
Conservative Veronica Oakes 996
Liberal Democrat David Hall 447
Green Timothy Rayner 432
Turnout 4,020 28.2
Hellingly (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat John Blake 817
Liberal Democrat David White 732
Conservative Barby Dashwood-Hall 583
Conservative Brian Smith 528
Turnout 2,660 36.9
Herstmonceux[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Andrew Long 477 63.1
Liberal Democrat Graham Love 279 36.9
Majority 198 26.2
Turnout 756 36.5
Horam[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Susan Stedman 381 56.9
Liberal Democrat Richard Benson 289 43.1
Majority 92 13.7
Turnout 670 33.2
Mayfield[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Brian Redman 459 54.3
Liberal Democrat Allan Thurley 387 45.7
Majority 72 8.5
Turnout 846 41.7
Ninfield and Hooe with Wartling[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Pamela Doodes unopposed
Pevensey and Westham (3)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Dianne Dear 1,245
Conservative John Vincent 1,233
Conservative Linda McKeever 1,135
Liberal Democrat Laura Parker 793
Liberal Democrat Christine Thomas 781
Turnout 5,187 29.7
Polegate North (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Roy Martin 888
Liberal Democrat Christina Berry 802
Independent Gerald Carter 478
Independent John Harmer 453
Conservative Anne Hampson 160
Conservative Michael Hampson 152
Turnout 2,933 37.7
Polegate South[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Ivy Scarborough 349 45.7
Liberal Democrat Patrick Trowell 241 31.6
Conservative Michael Richards 173 22.7
Majority 108 14.2
Turnout 763 38.7
Rotherfield[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Logan 379 47.4
Liberal Democrat Edwin Rice 365 45.7
Independent David Heritage 55 6.9
Majority 14 1.8
Turnout 799 41.7
Uckfield Central[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Claire Dowling 425 52.7
Liberal Democrat Michael Cooper 308 38.2
Labour Eileen Wolley 73 9.1
Majority 117 14.5
Turnout 806 35.1
Uckfield New Town[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Ian Nottage 339 54.2
Labour Ian Smith 144 23.0
Conservative Daphne Mainprice 143 22.8
Majority 195 31.2
Turnout 626 31.0
Uckfield North (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Paul Sparks 632
Liberal Democrat Alan Whittaker 520
Conservative Michael Heap 356
Labour Duncan Bennett 250
Labour Leonard Ashby 246
Turnout 2,004 27.8
Uckfield Ridgewood[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Anthony Parker 483 57.2
Conservative Silvia Buck 310 36.7
Labour Jane 'Espinasse 51 6.0
Majority 173 20.5
Turnout 844 39.1
Wadhurst (2)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Anna Monaghan 767
Conservative Robert Hodgson 734
Liberal Democrat Emma Sanderson-Nash 395
Liberal Democrat Rosalyn Bucklitsch 324
Labour Jane Zacharzewski 144
Turnout 2,364 32.0
Willingdon (3)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Stephen Shing 1,770
Liberal Democrat Anthony Seabrook 1,559
Liberal Democrat Andrew Watkins 1,516
Conservative David Burtenshaw 1,043
Conservative Guy Woodford 1,000
Conservative Raymond Ingram 949
Independent Margaret Piper 216
Labour Patricia Brinson 123
Labour Helen Sedgewick 114
Labour Gillian Roles 77
Turnout 8,367 48.7

By-elections between 2003 and 2007[edit]

Uckfield Ridgewood[edit]

A by-election was held in Uckfield Ridgewood on 16 September 2004 and was held for the Liberal Democrats by Robert Sweetland with a 185-vote majority.[14][15]

Uckfield Ridgewood By-Election 16 September 2004[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Robert Sweetland 380 60.4 +3.2
Conservative Jacob Vince 195 31.0 -5.7
Labour Leonard Ashby 54 8.6 +2.6
Majority 185 29.4 +8.9
Turnout 629 28.6 +8.1
Liberal Democrat hold Swing

Pevensey and Westham[edit]

A by-election was held in Pevensey and Westham on 29 September 2005 after the death of the previous councillor John Vincent.[14][16] The seat was held for the Conservatives by Kevin Balsdon with a 760-vote majority.[13][17]

Pevensey and Westham By-Election 29 September 2005[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Kevin Balsdon 1,229 66.7 +5.6
Liberal Democrat Christine Thomas 469 25.5 -13.4
Labour Robert Walker 143 7.8 +7.8
Majority 760 41.2
Turnout 1,841 25.7 -4.0
Conservative hold Swing

Crowborough North[edit]

A by-election was held in Crowoborough North on 6 April 2006 and was held for the Conservatives by Timothy Tyler with a 279-vote majority.[14][18]

Crowborough North By-Election 6 April 2006[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Timothy Tyler 417 52.5 +22.5
Liberal Democrat Peter Bucklitsch 138 17.4 +2.7
Independent Paul Scott 103 13.0 -33.4
Labour Jean McCarthy 94 11.8 +2.8
Independent Colin Stocks 43 5.4 +5.4
Majority 279 35.1
Turnout 795 20.1 -15.7
Conservative hold Swing

Uckfield New Town[edit]

A by-election was held in Uckfield New Town on 29 June 2006 after the death of the Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Nottage.[14][19] The seat was held for the Liberal Democrats by Julia Hey with a 170-vote majority.[20]

Uckfield New Town By-Election 29 June 2006[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Julia Hey 381 57.6 +3.4
Conservative Marion Rowland 211 31.9 +9.1
Green Samantha Bryant 69 10.4 +10.4
Majority 170 25.7 -5.5
Turnout 661 32.5 +1.5
Liberal Democrat hold Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Local elections". BBC News Online. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Local council election results". The Daily Telegraph. 3 May 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Wealden Council". The Argus. 16 April 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Labour regains Burnley". guardian.co.uk. 30 November 2001. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "East Enders desert BNP". guardian.co.uk. 28 June 2002. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Rift in LibDems". Sussex Express. 7 November 2002. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ousted councillors start own party". The Argus. 7 November 2002. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Power balance stays the same". Sussex Express. 8 May 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Labour looks for a gain". Sussex Express. 24 April 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c "Wealden District Council: Con hold". The Argus. 2 May 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "New faces on council". Sussex Express. 8 May 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Tories keep control". Sussex Express. 8 May 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al "District Council election". Wealden District Council. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "Election Results". Wealden District Council. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "BNP wins first London seat since 1993". guardian.co.uk. 17 September 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "Councillor dies of a heart attack". The Argus. 13 July 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "SNP triumphs in Fife". guardian.co.uk. 30 September 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "Lib Dems and Labour make byelection gains". guardian.co.uk. 7 April 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  19. ^ "Friends and family pay tribute to 'Pat the Hat'". The Argus. 27 April 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "Lib Dems hold council seats". Sussex Express. 30 June 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2011.