Pictures: Conservatives gain most seats in North Devon district council elections
- Credit: PA
North Devon counts well under way, but Torridge delayed until later this afternoon
The results of the North Devon district council elections have been announced, with the Conservatives taking 19 of the 43 seats on offer.
The Liberal Democrats had 12 councillors elected, and UKIP took one seat.
But, with 11 independent candidates elected to the council, it is still unclear which party will take overall control.
Leader of the previous council Brian Greenslade has been re-elected in the Pilton (Barnstaple) ward, with 1,133 votes.
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Former council chair and fellow Liberal Democrat Mair Manuel was also re-elected in the same ward, taking 841 votes to hold off Green Party candidate Ricky Knight (666).
Mr Greenslade said: “Mair and I are obviously pleased and it’s the fifth term we have won together and by clear margins.
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“So far the Liberal Democrats have not been wiped off the face of the Earth in terms of the local elections, but we await events.”
There was mixed news for the Conservatives in Ilfracombe Central, as Paul Crabb held onto his seat but Paul Yabsley lost his.
Independent Jim Campbell was also elected there.
Forches and Whiddon Valley saw Lib Dem candidates Sue Haywood and Julie Hunt returned to the council.
The first UKIP councillor to be elected on Friday was Ian Meadlarkin, alongside Lib Dem Geoff Fowler in Ilfracombe West.
Former Barnstaple mayor Ian Roome was elected for the Lib Dems in Yeo Valley (Barnstaple), alongside another Lib Dem in Joy Cann.
Mr Roome said: “I’m really happy with the result and I really look forward to serving the community of Yeo Valley and thank them for their support throughout the campaign. I will do my best to attend to any issues that may arise in the future.”
There was more Lib Dem success in Barnstaple Central, where Adam Bradford and Faye Webber held onto their seats.
Lib Dem Derrick Spear lost his seat in Braunton East, with Conservatives Roy Lucas and Robin Bonds elected.
Landkey, Swimbridge and Taw also voted Conservative - Glyn Lane (1,376) and David Luggar (1,156) were comfortable winners there.
Veteran duo John Moore (Ind) and David Worden (Lib Dem) held their seats in South Molton, while there was double delight for the Conservatives in Bickington and Roundswell as Rodney Cann and Jackie Flynn were elected.
Mr Cann said: “I think this is a new beginning for North Devon.
“There are a lot of challenges facing us; we have been the poor relation in many respects for far too long with areas of deprivation in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.
“It is a challenge but I think with a strong Conservative team and MP, we are well-placed to face these issues.”
Mike Edmunds (Ind) had no trouble holding his Ilfracombe East seat, while Andrea Davis (Cons) was re-elected in Heanton Punchardon.
Fremington elected two independent candidates - Frank Biederman kept his seat alongside Tony Wood.
There was more independent success for John Patrinos in Lynton and Lynmouth.
Longbridge (Barnstaple) went the way of the Conservatives, with Des Brailey and Dick Jones chosen.
Eric Ley (Ind) secured a crushing win in Bishops Nympton, while Newport elected two more Conservatives - John Matthews and Michael Harrison.
Malcolm Prowse (Ind) held onto his seat in Bratton Fleming and Lib Dem Joe Tucker narrowly held Marwood.
Georgeham and Mortehoe went for Pat Barker (Cons) and Malcolm Wilkinson (Lib Dem).
Richard Edgell (Cons) won well in North Molton and Walter White (Ind) was re-elected in Chittlehampton. Sue Croft also achieved re-election in Chulmleigh.
Brian Moores (Cons) won in Instow with 676 votes.
Julia Clark was deposed in Combe Martin, where Yvette Gubb (Ind) and John Lovering (Cons) took the seats.
Jeremy Yabsley (Ind) held his seat in Witheridge, while Conservative pair Caroline Chugg and Jasmine Chesters took the seats in Braunton West.
Keep up to date with the very latest results as they are announced on our live blog.