Independents take over district seats in Fremington

Joseph Bulmer

Intriguing result for one of North Devon’s livelier political battlefields.

THE independents took over the turbulent political landscape of Fremington, Bickington and Roundswell today (Friday) after ousting established councillors in the North Devon Council district election.

In Fremington, sitting Conservatives John Gill and Dick Jones lost by a wide margin of several hundred votes to Frank Biederman and Joanne Bell, who polled 1,266 and 969 respectively.

Current Bickington and Roundswell ward member Rodney Cann retained his seat with a big majority, polling 850 votes.

But there was a shock for long-serving liberal Democrat councillor Carol McCormack, who lost out to independent Brian Hockin by 411 to 570.

Fremington has been beset by political turmoil in recent months, which included the mass resignation of six parish councillors last autumn, which included Mr Hockin.

Seven candidates competed in both the Fremington and Bickington and Roundswell contests.

The parish council election results are still being counted and are due either later this afternoon (Friday) or Monday.

RESULTS:

* Fremington (two seats): Joanne Bell (Ind) 969; Frank Biederman (Ind) 1,266; Andrew Cann (Lib Dem) 184; Joy Cann (Lib Dem) 95; John Gill (Cons) 323; Dick Jones (Cons) 382; Tony Wood (Ind) 235.

* Bickington & Roundswell (two seats): Rodney Cann (Ind) 850; Brian Hockin (Ind) 570; Jerry Hole (Lib Dem) 281; Carol McCormack-Hole (Lib Dem) 411; Jason Ritterband-Fulcher (Cons) 272; Jean Smalley (Lab) 168; Serena Thomas (Cons) 278.

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