Published: December 2, 2011
Conservatives win County Council seat in Brent by-election

The Conservative's John Denbee has won a County Council seat following a by-election in the Burnham-On-Sea area on Thursday (December 1st).

Residents across the Brent division went to the polls to choose a replacement for long-serving Tory County Councillor Alan Ham, who died in September.

The Conservatives held onto the seat after Mr Denbee, who lives in Chapel Allerton, won 1,285 votes while Liberal Democrat Helen Groves, from Burnham, won 932 votes.

There was an 18% swing to the Lib Dems, helping them achieve their largest share of the vote in the ward for 18 years.

Speaking at the election count in East Brent Village Hall, John Denbee told "I'm very pleased to have won and thank everyone who supported me. I would also like to praise Helen for putting up a good fight."

Helen Groves added: "I'm tremendously grateful to the people of the Brent division for their support. I have had a very positive response and, while I am disappointed not to have won, I wish John well in the role."

Burnham's MP, Tessa Munt, who was at Thursday's election count, told "This has been a very positive campaign for Helen and it's good to see the Lib Dem share has risen against the backdrop of some tough decisions being made by the government."

The turnout in Thursday's election was 29.7%. There were nine spoiled votes - eight of which were unmarked and one where both candidates were ticked.

The Brent ward covers a large area around Burnham including the villages of Brean, Berrow, Lympsham, Brent Knoll, East Brent, Rooksbridge and Watchfield.

Pictured: Top, Helen Groves congratulated John Denbee for his win at the election count in East Brent; above, the election count underway


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