Exmouth and Budleigh councillor retain county seats in 2021 elections

Exmouth's county councillors Jeff Trail and RIchard Scott

Exmouth's county councillors Jeff Trail and RIchard Scott - Credit: Conservative Party

Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton’s three county councillors have all retained their seats in the latest elections. 

Richard Scott and Jeff Trail will continue to represent the Exmouth ward while Christine Channon kept her seat representing Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth Coastal. 

Jeff Trail (Conservative Party) got 3,727 votes while Richard Scott (Conservative Party) got 3,685. Both were duly elected as county councillors. 

Independent Joe Whibley got 2,373 votes ahead of Tim Dumper (Liberal Democrats) 1,844, Josie Parkhouse (Labour Party) 1,509, Daniel Wilson (Labour Party) 1,224 and Michael Rosser (Green Party) 1,214. 

Cllr Jeff Trail said: “This has been great for the Conservative party and we will work as a team to do the work we said we would do, have been doing, and will continue to do.” 

In the Budleigh and Exmouth Coastal ward, Christine Channon (Conservatives) got 2,307 votes, giving her a 49 per cent majority. 

Christine Channon, Conservative Party candidate for the Devon County Council elections

Christine Channon, Conservative Party candidate for the Devon County Council elections - Credit: Christine Channon

Penny Lewis (Liberal Democrats) got 747, David Ireson (Green Party) got 503, Keith Edwards (Labour Party) got 478, independent Brian Bailey secured 460 votes while David Hayward (Reform UK) got 78 and Brigitte Graham (UKIP) 68. 

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Countywide,  the Conservatives retained the control of Devon County Council for another four years – but with a reduced majority. 

Under John Hart’s leadership, they have been in charge of the council since 2009, and Thursday’s local elections saw they stretch that reign until 2025. 

The Liberal Democrats gained three seats to become the official opposition on nine, while Labour gained one seat in Exeter to end on seven. 

The Green Party gained a seat in Broadclyst, as well as holding on to Totnes and Dartington, to return two councillors, while three Independents were elected (in Fremington Rural, Otter Valley and Newton Abbot South). 

Cllr John Hart, leader of the council, said: “I’m very grateful to everyone who voted – no matter which party they chose – in difficult circumstances.” 

Cllr Alan Connett, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “Our job will be to promote to the people of Devon the things that are important, fixing the roads, mending children’s services, the economy, how we recover from Covid.  

“What I want is a willingness from the Conservatives to work together on mending Devon’s economy. 

“This is part of the journey back.” 

Labour group leader Cllr Rob Hannaford said: “We have a fantastic team of county councillors who will bring a lot of strength and experience to County Hall.  

“We will move forward with confidence and hold the administration to account. 

“We will be a constructive opposition, if they are doing the right thing, we will back it, but if it needs to change, we will raise issues and lobby and get things done.” 

The most votes went to Jess Bailey, an Independent who took the Otter Valley seat with more than 3,000 votes, taking over from Claire Wright. 

Cllr Bailey said: “I am absolutely thrilled and stunned and so grateful for all who voted for me. I am absolutely delighted and I want to say thank you to all those who voted for me. One of priorities will be the state of the roads, road safety, patchy broadband, Tipton St John school, and I am absolutely thrilled.” 

Cllr Henry Gent, the Green party councillor who won the Broadclyst seat from a Conservative, added: “Thank you to the votes here how have realised that if you want Green, you must vote Green. As a Green I care for this patch of earth, the local people, and all our posterity. 

“The only promise I make as a Green county councillor is to work hard and do my best for the people and place that I love most in the world.” 

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