The Liberal Democrat candidate has been elected to the Sowerby and Topcliffe division on North Yorkshire Council.

Dan Sladden took 41.5 per cent of the votes in the by-election yesterday (Thursday, November 30). The turnout was 29.27 per cent, with 1,838 votes cast from an electorate of 6,279.

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Green councillor Dave Whitfield on health grounds.

Church of England reverend Dan, who sings professionally with York Minster and Ripon Cathedral choirs, said: “I’m so honoured by this result. It’s been an absolute pleasure meeting so many residents over the last few weeks and that they turned out to vote Lib Dem in such numbers is humbling."

The father-of-five,who lives in Sowerby with his family, added: “Last year, Dave Whitfield managed to show that this area is no longer a Conservative stronghold.

“I want to build on the hope that Dave initiated and work toward a better future for Sowerby and Topcliffe with my fellow residents.

“I am truly humbled by the faith they have put in me at the ballot box and I look forward to serving as their councillor with the official opposition Lib Dems on North Yorkshire Council.”

Fellow Thirsk and Malton Lib Dem councillor Steve Mason - who represents nearby Amotherby and Ampleforth division - said: “People on the doorsteps told me they felt let down by the Conservatives both locally and nationally and that Dan’s kindness and integrity shone through.

“We knew from day one Dan would make an excellent councillor for his local area and the people of Sowerby and Topcliffe decided for themselves.

“North Yorkshire Council is stronger with this result and I’m looking forward to sitting alongside Dan and holding the Conservatives to account together.”

The full results are:

• Dave Elders, The Conservative Party: 460 votes.

• Stew Exotic, The Official Monster Raving Loony Party: 20 votes.

• John Philip Hall, The Yorkshire Party: 35 votes.

• John Timothy Law, The Green Party: 306 votes.

• Dan Sladden, The Liberal Democrat Party: 764 votes (elected).

• Helen Kathleen Tomlinson, The Labour Party: 250 votes.

The election was held due to the resignation of the former councillor.

More information on the election and the result can be viewed at

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Image attached: Dan Sladden, right, the winner of the Sowerby and Topcliffe by-election, with returning officer Richard Flinton, who is the chief executive of North Yorkshire Council.