Local Elections 2011

MAY 2011

Gus Hoyt managed to take Bristol City Council's Ashley ward for the Green Party with 43% of the vote and a huge 774-majority over the Liberal Democrat candidate. Elsewhere, at parish and town level, we took 48 seats, bringing our total numbers to 60 across the South West. Green Party candidates in the region averaged 11.5% of the vote in four-or-more-cornered contests.

Gus said
I owe so much to everyone that helped; from the endless sacrifices of our canvassers to our letter-folders and leafletters. We did it! We bloody did it!

This proves that a positive message and a clean campaign can win over an established power base and negative scaremongering. Honesty and fair policies have trumped slick and over-calculated politics.

I am so proud to be a representative for Ashley. I wouldn't stand anywhere but here. It's my home and now I can help make it even better.

On South Hams District Council, the second seat in Totnes Town ward was won by Alan Gorman and Dartington ward by Jacqi Hodgson, taking Green Party representation on the council to three with Robert Vint, who held the other Totnes Town seat.

The electorate has spoken, said Alan.

Now it's up to us to justify their belief that better community involvement in decision-making, more fairness, more of an eye to long-term sustainability, more Green deeds and actions (rather than words), really are possible at local government level.

Let's not kid ourselves that we can achieve this all on our own, we have to influence other parties too. The hard work is just beginning. Many thanks to all those who helped us come this far.

Jacqi said
I am absolutely delighted. We have been working really hard on this for the last two or three years.

Robert said
I'm pleased to have held my seat on South Hams District Council with an increase in support and to have been elected to Totnes Town Council with the highest vote.

In just two years the Greens in and around Totnes have gained four seats on the Town Council, three on the District Council and one on the County Council - placing it well ahead of the other parties.

Elsewhere in the South West:

  • Cllr Tom Leimdorfer held Congresbury ward on North Somerset Unitary Authority;
  • Cllr Peter Christie held Bideford North ward on Torridge District Council;
  • Cllr John Marjoram held Trinity ward and Martin Whiteside Thrupp ward, both on Stroud District Council, which also saw Catherine Farrell successfully hold Nailsworth, replacing Cllr Fi MacMillan who stood down, Simon Pickering hold Slade ward after Cllr Gwen Belcher retired and Molly Scott-Cato hold Valley ward after Cllr Sarah Lunnon stood down to concentrate on her work as the only Green councillor on Gloucestershire County Council

The Green Party now has 15 district and unitary authority councillors across the South West, up from 13.

Greens also increased their presence on Stroud Town Council from 11 to 12 seats out of 18 and gained two seats on Totnes Town Council, increasing their representation to four. In Glastonbury, Greens too  four seats on the town council, narrowly lost an extra seat that would have resulted in the same number of councillors as the Conservatives: Linda Benfield lost St John's ward by just one vote! Greens are now the second largest group on the town council with four to the Conservatives' six.

Earl Bramley-Howard said
To go from a standing start to four councillors was marvellous.

Wells City Council also elected its first Green Party councilor, Chris Britton.

In Yeovil, the first Green Party councillor was elected to the town council, the only one of 24 who isn't a LibDem.