Mayor of Grantham Ian Selby is re-elected in the Harrowby Ward
The spotlight has been on some wards more than others in this local election for South Kesteven District Council.
One such ward is Harrowby, where Ian Selby and Bruce Wells were deselected by the Labour Group earlier this year and went on to stand as Independents.
Today, voters chose to re-elect Coun Selby – who was not in attendance and was informed of the news by phone – and vote in Conservative Linda Wootten.
So what was a ward with three Labour councillors now has two councillors – due to Boundary Commission changes – neither of which are Labour.
Coun Wootten, who is already county councillor for Grantham East, decided to stand in the district council elections at the last minute after seeing there was no Conservative representation in the Harrowby ward. She said: “I’m absolutely delighted and really grateful that the public came out and voted for me, and that they have had faith in me. I’m looking forward to serving the community.”
The result is a blow to Mr Wells, who as deputy mayor was preparing to enjoy a year as Mayor of Grantham. He will not be allowed to undertake the role now he has not been re-elected as a district councillor.
Mr Wells said: “I’m gutted. I feel like I’ve let the people of Harrowby ward down. But I do think that if you are a county councillor and district councillor there is a conflict of interests.”
He added: “I’m sad that I won’t be the next mayor of Grantham, as I had already had things planned that I wanted to do. As a former member of the Royal Engineers I was going to ask them to march through the town. I also feel sorry for the three charities that I had chosen.”
The Charter Trustees have confirmed that they will be holding an extraordinary meeting to decide on the next Mayor of Grantham.
Meanwhile, Councillor Charmaine Morgan, who was elected in St Vincent’s Ward, said she has “huge sympathy” for unsuccessful Labour colleagues “who ran a clean and fair election” in the Harrowby Ward.