Local elections: Exmouth Conservatives lose ground as Independents and Greens pick up seats
PUBLISHED: 19:15 03 May 2019 | UPDATED: 21:08 03 May 2019
Exmouth's electorate have voted with their feet in the latest district council elections with turnout down by more than half in some wards.
Turnout at the polls was down across the four contested Exmouth wards compared to the 2015 vote and usually safe Conservative seats were taken by Independent and Green Party candidates.
Exmouth's share of the district council is now taken up by five Independent district councillors, with four Liberal Democrats, three Conservatives and two Green Party members.
Liberal Democrat Eileen Wragg, who retained her Exmouth Town seat, said people are 'heartily' fed up with the council.
Megan Armstrong, Independent, who retained her seat in Exmouth Halsdon, said: “The people are not only fed up with the Conservative administration but it also links up with the national picture.”
In the Exmouth Town ward, while Cllr Wragg retained her seat, fellow Liberal Democrat Tim Dumper was ousted after only one year on the council.
Joining Cllr Wragg on the council will be independent Joe Whibley and The Green Party's Olly Davey.
Independents took seats in Exmouth Halsdon, where Paul Millar will join Cllr Armstrong at East Devon District Council, along with Tony Woodward of the Green Party.
It was a similar story in Littleham, where independents Nick Hookway – of Save Exmouth Seafront – and former Fun Park owner Chris Wright were elected alongside Conservative Bruce de Saram, who retains his seat.
In Brixington, Conservative Maddy Chapman retained her seat and will be joined by Liberal Democrat Andrew Colman.
It took three re-counts and the drawing of lots to decide determine the third councillor, with Conservative Fred Caygill pipping his fellow party member Cherry Nicholas by one vote.
In Budleigh & Raleigh, Tories Alan Dent and Thomas Wright, and Independent Paul Jarvis were elected.
Independent Ben Ingham retained his seat in Woodbury and Lympstone, while fellow Independent Geoff Jung - who was previously a district councillor for the defunct Raleigh ward – was also elected.