LIVE: Lincolnshire County Council Election Coverage 2013

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The Journal is reporting live from the Meres Leisure Centre tonight where the local count is taking place for the South Kesteven area.

Stay with us throughout the night for regular updates and news on winners and losers.

You can also keep track by following my Twitter feed @JournalNeil and keep track of news across the county via Twitter #lincselection

Or you could e-mail me at neil.graham@granthamjournal.co.uk

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2.50am - Forgot to mention earlier in the evening - Samantha Turner (Lib Dem) was running in the Grantham East Division. In her write-up in the Journal she wrote: “Only vote for me if you feel inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

Well, 74 people were suitably inspired.

2.40am - Folkingham Rural doesn’t look far from being called...which is good because the temperature is starting to plummet in this sports hall!

2.30am - Conservatives currently have 24 seats with 21 left to be declared. They need to get to 37 for a majority.

2.21am - Coun Paul Wood is another winner today to say potholes are his priority.

Just waiting on Folkingham Rural now...

2.20am - Bob Adams (CON) takes Colsterworth Rural. He says the Leader of the council (whoever that may be) is probably going to have a “bit of a headache in the morning” as other results come in. UKIP have at least 11 seats...

2.10am - BREAKING - Independent Paul Wood takes Hough.

2am - Shouldn’t be long now until start seeing some results in the rural seats. Will be interesting to see how “Mr Chocolate” Jan Hansen gets on in Folkingham Rural. He’s up against leader of the council Martin Hill.

1.56am - Just spoken to Coun Martin Hill, leader of the county council, about his deputy leader Eddy Poll losing his seat to a UKIP candidate.

He said: “I’m very disappointed. Obviously UKIP have got a strong surge. Eddy was a very good councillor and this will be a very big loss to Lincolnshire County Council.”

Asked about his own chances, Coun Hill said: “Let’s just wait and see, shall we?”

1.55am - Lincolnshire County Council’s Deputy Leader lost his seat today. The council leader Martin Hill awaits his fate here at the Meres in Folkingham Rural...

1.50am - Time for a quick re-cap. Here’s the winners so far...

Grantham Barrowby - Jo Churchill (CON)

Grantham East - Linda Wootten (CON)

Grantham North - Ray Wootten (CON)

Grantham North West - Richard Davies (CON)

Grantham South - Charmaine Morgan (LAB)

We’ve still got Hough, Folkingham Rural and Colsterworth Rural to come. They are being counted now.

1.45am - Spoken to at least three Conservative winners today who have told me potholes will be a major priority for them.

Richard Davies who won in Grantham North West said: “Number one issue, first thing tomorrow morning, we’ve got to start getting these potholes fixed.”

1.40am - Charmaine Morgan said: “People have been telling us they are not happy with what is going on at county and that they didn’t feel they were being represented so it’s an opportunity now and I’ve got a list ready to start!”

1.35am - Charmaine Morgan’s win over Adam Stokes was by 840 votes to 777.

Coun Stokes said: “Obviously I’m disappointed but that’s just the way things go in politics. You have nights like this.

“But I will bounce back and come back stronger from it.”

1.30am - After a manic 50 minutes (and plenty of technical troubles) I’m back and there’s lots to share...

Surprise of the day so far is Labour’s Charmaine Morgan taking Grantham South from Adam Stokes (CON).

Richard Davies (CON) won Grantham North West comfortably from David Burling (LAB).

Ray Wootten (CON) joined his wife in election success in Grantham North.

And I think that’s us up to date...

12.40am - BREAKING - Conservatives take Grantham East (Linda Wootten)

12.30am - Mike Williams finished a close second in Barrowby. He said: “I wasn’t surprised to push it close but she worked hard and good luck to her. I have no axe to grind. I gave it a good punt.”

Labour’s Mark Bartlett wasn’t far behind in third. He said: “We increased the Labour vote and the Conservatives have dropped their vote. But it was a low turnout as well.”

Asked about the general outlook for Labour in the room he said: “I think we are going to get back some ground today and be ready for the SKDC elections in a year’s time.”

12.20am - Just spoken to new councillor Jo Churchill who is understandably delighted with the result. She wanted to thank everyone who voted and said her priorities will include policing and roads/highways which were both topics which came up on the election trail.

12.12am - It was fairly close.

Bartlett (LAB) 442

Churchill (CON) 558

Williams (IND) 476s

12.10am - BREAKING - Conservatives take Grantham Barrowby (Jo Churchill)

12.05am - Lots more chatter about seats being close in the Grantham area. Elsewhere there’s been four called so far - two Labour and two Lib Dem. There’s some tentative smiles on Labour faces here.

Midnight - Three seats have been declared so far elsewhere - two Lib Dem and one Labour - but no sign of any declarations in South Kesteven just yet...

11.55pm - Labour’s Charmaine Morgan just told me it’s “neck and neck” in her battle for Grantham South, presumably with incumbent Adam Stokes (CON). She thinks a few other battles are looking like being close too...

11.45pm - Just spoken to husband and wife duo Coun Ray Wootten and Linda Wootten. Ray is the incumbent in Grantham North while Linda is attempting to win the Grantham East seat - both for the Conservatives.

When asked hor the past few weeks have been they both replied “hard work”.

Linda added: “People have been bringing national politics into it so I, personally, have been trying to keep it local.”

Ray said he injured his ankle leaflet dropping in two divisions with Linda but added: “We have met some really lovely people.

“Some of the issues people have raised have been the EU, gay marriage has come up as well and immigration.

“It’s been enjoyable but I’m glad it’s over and done with!”

11.40pm - Just had an interesting chat with Graham Jeal. Mr Jeal is the owner of St Vincent’s in Grantham so is dealing with an incredible amount of media interest in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid later this month. I’m just trying to blag a spot at a function there next week - in a purely professional capacity of course...

11.30pm - Conservative county councillor Richard Davies is in an interesting two-horse race with Labour’s David Burling.

Coun Davies said: “I’ve had a really busy couple of weeks, delivered thousands of leaflets and spoken to hundreds of people but we just don’t know on the day.

“But it would appear the turnout is low, which is disappointing.”

When asked about the mood in the room, Coun Davies said: “Just anticipation at the moment - we’re just getting started.

“But it’s good they’ve made an early start.”

11.15pm - Of the eight seats we’re focusing on tonight, four are guaranteed to offer change. That’s because only four sitting candidates are up for re-election - Martin Hill, Ray Wootten, Richard Davies and Adam Stokes.

In the other four we have four new Conservative candidates attempting to keep the seat for their party - Bob Adams, Jo Churchill, Linda Wootten and Stephen Pearson.

11.10pm - Charmaine Morgan, leader of the Labour group at SKDC, is aiming to unseat Conservative and fellow district councillor Adam Stokes in Grantham South tonight and become a county councillor.

She said she feels the election has been a fair one - baring the “disgraceful” vandalising of signs in Folkingham.

She added: “There is a general dissatisfaction about the way the county council is being run. One of the big issues for people is Highways - everyone feels they are not being listened to when raising their concerns.

“In general people feel like decisions are being made about Grantham but Grantham people are not having their views heard. People feel like we have to stand up for our town in the county.”

10.55pm - Lincolnshire County Council has been under the control of the Conservatives since 1997. They currently hold 61 of the 77 seats and only require 37 to be able to form a majority - so I’m going to stick my neck out here and predict the Tories will still be running Lincolnshire County Council tomorrow morning.

Having said that, there’s been much talk in the room thus far of the Conservatives suffering a bit of a bloody nose in Lincolnshire tonight so it might just be a little more interesting than first meets the eye...

10.45pm - Just spoken to former district and county councillor Mike Williams who is running this year in the Grantham Barrowby Division.

He said: “I’m not holding my breath tonight. It was a bit of a last minute rush decision to stand but now I’m retired I’m getting a bit bored so I just stuck my name down last minute.”

Mike was a county councillor for eight years in the not too distant past.

He added: “I stood in Harrowby before and I kind of wish I had stood there this time really - I would have stood a better chance.”

On another note, Mike and his wife Avril (another former SK district councillor an ex-Mayor of Grantham)will be celebrating their golden wedding next month.

Look out for a story in an upcoming Grantham Journal!

10.35pm - The counters are counting...

10.30pm - Here’s a bit of background to start us off.

There will be 77 seats on Lincolnshire County Council being contested, 15 in South Kesteven.

The Conservatives have a 43-seat majority with 61 seats. The Lib Dems have 4, Labour has 5, Lincolnshire Independents 4, Independent 1 and Boston Bypass Independent 1.

For the mathematicians among you, there is currently one vacancy.

I’ll be focusing on eight seats today:

- Grantham East (CON - L. Wootten, LAB - Forman, IND - Hewerdine, LIB - Turner, UKIP - Mason)

- Grantham North (CON - R. Wootten, LAB - Shorrock, UKIP - Martin, IND - Andrews)

- Grantham South (CON - Stokes, LAB - C. Morgan, LIB - Turner)

- Grantham North West (CON - Davies, LAB - Burling)

- Grantham Barrowby (CON - Churchill, LAB - Bartlett, IND - Williams)

- Colsterworth Rural (CON - Adams, LAB - Goodyer, UKIP - Waring, L/IND - Ireland)

- Folkingham Rural (CON - Hill, LAB - J. Morgan, LIB - Withnall, L/IND - Hansen)

- Hough (CON - Pearson, LAB - Hudson, IND - Wood)