Little change to Sidmouth’s political landscape following district council elections

Ref shr Sidmouth up close 7448. Picture: Alex Walton.

Ref shr Sidmouth up close 7448. Picture: Alex Walton. - Credit: Archant

The political face of Sidmouth on the district council has escaped huge change in the latest elections.

Going in to the vote on Thursday (May 2), Sidmouth was represented by six independent councillors with Stuart Hughes as the sole Conservative member.

Following these elections, Sidmouth has retained its numbers on the district council, and Stuart Hughes was one of few Conservatives across East Devon to retain his seat.

He blamed national issues relating to Brexit for his fellow Conservative councillors losing their seats.

He said: “Once again, the government has cost many good Conservatives their seats.

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“I think Brexit really got in the way.”

David Barratt, of Sidmouth Rural, lost his seat to fellow independent candidate John Loudoun who is looking to focus on the controversial Sidford Business Park in his term.

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Mr Loudoun said: “I am very humbled and I hope to make people proud.

“I think it reflects people locally in the Sid Valley feeling that they have not been well served in the past by their council.

“I am determined to put the whole of Sidmouth Rural at the forefront of my endeavours and fulfil what I set out in my objectives.”

Cathy Gardner retained her seat on the council and will be joined by fellow East Devon Alliance (EDA) member Denise Bickley.

Previously Dr Gardner was one of three independent councillors representing the Sidmouth Town ward.

She said: “I am really pleased. It has been four years hard work and it’s fantastic that people have re-elected me.

“It’s still as humbling as it was four years ago.”

Fellow EDA members Marianne Rixson and Dawn Manley – both in the Sidmouth Sidford ward – have both been re-elected.

Mrs Rixson said: “it’s a real privilege and I am really grateful to the electorate for voting me back in.

“I will carry on trying to do the best I can.”

Since the boundary changes, the Sidmouth Town ward has been reduced to having two councillors - both of which are from the EDA.

In Newton Poppleford and Harpford, Independent Val Ranger retained her seat over Conservative David Atkins.

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