THE Conservative Party won five out of the six seats up for grabs in the county county elections in Ryedale.

The exception was Pickering, where Liberal candidate John Clark achieved success by a narrow margin, ousting Tory Greg White.

In Hovingham and Sheriff Hutton, Clare Wood, for the Conservative Party, was elected by a huge majority. She took 2,326 votes, compared to the 698 votes for Liberal Democrat Marian Hodgson and 179 votes for Labour Party candidate Jean Bills. Turnout was almost 48 per cent.

In Kirkbymoorside, Conservative Val Arnold was voted in with 1,730 votes, followed by Nelly Trevelyan of the Liberal Party, with 378 votes. Liberal Democrat Jack Wilford, who, at 18, was one of the youngest people in the country to stand for election, achieved 324 votes, followed by the Labour Party candidate Judy Dixon, who netted 229 votes.

The results for the Malton division were closer – Conservative Michael Knaggs got1,428 votes, beating Liberal Democrat Howard Keal, who polled 1,043 votes. Labour Party candidate Cliff Williams got 178 votes.

There was a one notable farewell in Norton, where Liberal Democrat David Lloyd-Williams was voted out after 28 years in the job. He got 908 votes, and was beaten by Conservative Party newcomer Stephen Shaw (981 votes).

The British National Party received more votes than Labour in this division – 238 votes for the BNP’s Jeff Kelly, compared to 190 votes for Labour’s Heather Milner.

The biggest surprise of the day was in Pickering, where John Clark of the Liberal Party was voted in on 1,258 votes, scuppering incumbent Conservative Greg White, who got 1,200 votes. There was a turnout of 45.5 per cent in this division.

The votes for Thornton-le-Dale and The Wolds had to be recounted, but the final result was decisive – 1,665 votes for Ron Haigh, Conservative Party candidate, 804 for Janice Gwilliam, of the Liberal Democrats, and 239 for Rod Price, of the Labour Party.

As the results were announced in the council chamber at Ryedale House, both winners and losers addressed the public.

Clare Wood, elected to represent the Pickering division, said: “I am overwhelmingly excited and absolutely thrilled.

“I would like to thank my opponent for a fair campaign.

“Marian has already said that she would like to work with me, and I very much hope that she will do so.”

Ms Hodgson said: “This was my first try at County, and although I haven’t succeeded I hope I will have the opportunity to try again.”

Val Arnold, who punched the air as she got her result, said: “Thank you very much indeed, I am thrilled to bits.”

Michael Knaggs, who will represent Malton at county hall, said: “Here I am again – I am getting to be an old man. Thank you for supporting me.

“I’ll try and do what I said I’d do, and keep tax as low as possible.”

Howard Keal, of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It was a very tough campaign, and I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and did such a magnificent job, every step of the way.”

Stephen Shaw, newly-elected to represent Norton, said: “It is not without some degree of humility that I am replacing someone who has been on the county council for 20-odd years.

“I would like to thank David for all his hard work.”

Mr Lloyd-Williams said: “It is sadness for me, because this has been a large part of my life, but as one door closes, another opens.”

He joked: “I am only partly in retirement, and I will be making just as much of a nuisance of myself locally as I did at county level.”

Ron Haigh, elected to represent Thornton Dale and The Wolds, said he looked forward to representing the division for another four years, and that he was grateful for the chance to continue the work he had started.

County council at a glance

Out of 72 seats:
48 are Conservative
11 are Lib Dem
1 is Labour
11 are Independent
1 is Liberal
Conservatives have a majority of 24 seats

Losses and gains
Conservative, 12 gain and 6 lost
Lib Dem, 1 gain and 8 lost
Labour, 9 lost
Independent, 8 gain and 1 lost
The Liberal Party, 1 gain

BNP snatches Euro seat

RYEDALE had the second highest number of voters turn out for the European Parliament elections in the Yorkshire and Humber region, which saw a member of the British National Party snatch a seat from Labour.

Andrew Brons, a retired university lecturer, gained nearly 10 per cent of the total votes cast in the region, to gain the first BNP seat in the European Parliament. He polled 120,139 votes.

The average turnout among the 21 authorities in the region was 32.51 per cent, but Ryedale had a 40.52 per cent turnout, behind Craven with 41.86 per cent.

Six members of the European Parliament have been elected for the region. They are: Edward McMillan-Scott (Conservative) Linda McAvan (Labour) Godfrey Bloom (UKIP) Diana Wallis (Liberal Democrats) Timothy Kirkhope (Conservative) Andrew Brons (BNP).