LIBERAL Democrat Di Keal, former chairman of Ryedale District Council, has regained the seat she lost nearly two years ago, in a by-election in the Norton West ward.

The election was caused by the death of Conservative councillor Judith Denniss, earlier this year.

Coun Keal took the seat with 381 votes, 200 ahead of the Conservative candidate Paul Farndale. Labour’s Karl Reveley, polled 75 votes in the 23.3 per cent turn-out.

Coun Keal, who previously served for eight years on Ryedale council, said after her success: “I am delighted to have again been elected as a councillor for Norton and I thank all those who turned out on a chilly November day.”

She added: “I stood on my personal record on local issues and I now look forward to continuining to do my best to speak up for Norton and support the interests of our town at district level, again.”

Coun Elizabeth Shields said: “As leader of the Ryedale Liberal Democrats, I am absolutely delighted that Coun Di Keal has won the by-election and regained her seat on the district council.

“Her emphatic victory over the opposition indicates the importance that residents place on local matters, particularly in a market town like Norton-on-Derwent, whose businesses have suffered so much in past months.

“Di Keal’s hard work on behalf of many people in the town has clearly contributed to her success. We now look forward to her participation once again in the debates.”