LABOUR lost a seat on Warrington Borough Council to an Independent in yesterday’s by-election at Penketh.
Independent Geoffrey Fellows came top of the poll in a six-cornered fight for the seat previously held by the late Allin Dirir.
Labour’s Kenny Watson, chairman of the local Momentum group, came second and the Conservatives’ Philip Hayward, third.
The result will be seen by many as another rejection of Party politics by the electorate and particularly of the left-wing brand of Momentum.
It is not the first time that Geoffrey Fellows has caused an upset at Penketh, having previously won a seat on the Parish Council.
Speaking before the election he said: “My first few months as a parish Councillor have been both interesting and enjoyable in equal measures, I’ve received a warm and friendly welcome from the Labour parish Councillors who are all volunteers, however I maintain my belief that our Parish Council should be completely non-political.
“So, I would urge residents to vote for your Independent candidates. We will get the job done and do what is best for Penketh. Let us lose all party affiliations for 2020!”
“It is my intention that with more Independent people hopefully joining me in the near future, we can be more productive and really benefit our Community.”
Meanwhile Andy Carter, Deputy Chair of Warrington Conservatives said ‘We’d like to thank the 479 residents who supported Conservative Candidate Phil Hayward and while we are obviously disappointed we weren’t successful in taking the seat back from Labour we’ll continue to work hard for people in Penketh both locally and in government.
“We know people care greatly about local issues and we congratulate Geoff on his success. There’ll be times when we can work together at the Town Hall to challenge decisions made by Labour, to get a better deal for people living here.”
The full result was:
Geoffrey Fellows (Ind) 784
Kenny Watson (Lab) 691
Philip Hayward (Cons) 479
David Crowther (Lib Dem) 100
Ian Wilson (UKIP) 69
Steph Davies (Green) 47
The turnout was 25.89 per cent.