Tories remain in control of South Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 20:05 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:45 11 May 2010

LONG-SERVING Melbourn district councillor Val Trueman lost her seat in last week s South Cambridgeshire District Council elections. The Conservatives maintained overall control of the council, gaining two seats and losing one to increase their overall maj

LONG-SERVING Melbourn district councillor Val Trueman lost her seat in last week's South Cambridgeshire District Council elections.

The Conservatives maintained overall control of the council, gaining two seats and losing one to increase their overall majority to seven.

One of the seats they picked up was in Melbourn, where Mrs Trueman lost out to Cllr Val Barrett.

Cllr Barrett polled 1,053 votes, with Christina Cartwright (Lib Dem) picking up 534, and Mrs Trueman, who recently left the Liberal Democrats to run as an independent, trailing with 203.

Cllr Barrett said: "I'm well-known in the village and that certainly played in my favour."

She said that she is yet to be convinced by the plans for a new community centre in Melbourn:

"I'm not sure if there is a demand for it, and like many others want to know a lot more about the scheme," she said.

There was no early birthday present for Robin Page.

The controversial former councillor, who celebrated his birthday at the weekend, ran as an independent in Haslingfield and the Eversdens, but lost out to sitting councillor Cllr Liz Heazell (Lib Dem).

Mr Page's presence was perhaps one of the factors which inspired an exceptionally high turn out of 60 per cent in the ward.

Cllr Heazell said: "Traditionally we have always had a high turn out in this ward, but obviously the presence of a nationally renowned television presenter will have had an effect.

"I think people voted for me because I have a reputation for hard work and for getting involved when it matters.

Speeding in residential areas is an issue Cllr Heazell is keen to tackle. She said: "It has an impact on people's quality of life, particularly the elderly.

"I consider speeding to be anti-social behaviour."

Labour sustained heavy losses across the country, but one councillor who held onto his seat was Nigel Cathcart.

He will continue to represent Bassingbourn after fending off challenges from Adrian Dent (Con) and Peter Robinson (Indp).

He said: "Some voters have obviously used these local elections to voice their discontent on national government policies.

"But I like to think there is a strong tradition of rural socialism in this little corner of South Cambridgeshire which has helped me keep my seat."

Cllr Cathcart said that he will continue to oppose the transfer of district council housing stock to a housing association.

"It's a big issue for people in our villages and we need to ensure the correct solution is reached," he said.

In the Mordens there was a resounding vote of confidence for independent councillor Cicely Murfitt.

Cllr Murfitt received 547 votes, more than double that of her nearest challenger, Robert Poulter (Con).

Harston and Hauxton saw Cllr Janet Lockwood (Lib Dem) retain her seat.

Liberal Democrats were celebrating, too, in Gamlingay, with Cllr Sebastian Kindersley keeping his seat and Cllr Bridget Smith filling the vacancy left by the departure of Ann Elsby.

n In North Herts, the Tories kept control while Labour lost two seats.

Labour has now been reduced to the third party after losing seats in two Letchworth wards.

The Liberal Democrats now have nine seats compared with Labour's eight while the iron grip of the Tories continues with 32 seats.

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