New Conservative councillor wins Northam by-election

File picture of a ballot box

File picture of a ballot box - Credit: LDRS

Northam has a new Conservative councillor representing it at Torridge District Council (TDC) following a by-election on Thursday, December 9. 

Carrie Woodhouse won with 386 votes, 156 more than second-placed Liberal Democrat Sam Newman-McKie who received 230. 

Green Party candidate Wendy Lo-Vel polled 224 votes while Labour’s Jennifer Radford got 103. Independent Timothy Tennant received 54 votes. 

The result is a swing to the Tories. The seat was previously held by independent councillor Giuseppe Rossi who stood down in October. 

Riverbank House, the home of Torridge District Council

Riverbank House, the home of Torridge District Council - Credit: TDC

Torridge still has no overall majority. Is led by independent Ken James (Milton & Tamarside) and is now made up of 17 independents, 11 Conservatives, three Labour, two Greens, two Lib Dems plus one non-aligned councillor 

Speaking before the vote, Ms Woodhouse said: “I want to make a difference to my community and ensure family matters and diversity are represented within the council.” 

She says the most important issues facing Northam include the rise in housing developments, lack of infrastructure, poor reliability of public transport, the health and social care crisis and business recovery after Covid. 

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Following the election, Ms Woodhouse will work alongside councillor Christopher Leather (Independent) and councillor Joanne Manley (Independent), who also represent Northam at TDC. 

Turnout for the poll was low, with just over 24 per cent of more than 4,000 eligible voters casting a ballot. 

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