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By election success means Lib Dems now the largest political group on Cambridgeshire County Council

Celebrating his victory in yesterday’s (Thursday) by election was Lib Dem Andrew Wood

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Liberal Democrats last night (Thursday) overtook Conservatives as the majority political group on Cambridgeshire County Council. Snatching the vacant Yaxley and Farcet – held by veteran councillor Mac McGuire until his death in January – it means Liberal Democrats now have 23 seats on the county council, one ahead of the Conservatives.

It won’t change the political balance on the council too much, however, since an alliance formed from Labour, Lib Dems and independents has run the council since removing the Conservatives in 2021.

But the result at Yaxley and Farcet was a bitter blow for Conservative opposition leader Steve Count who has seen his tally of councillors drop by six since the last election, mostly through defections.

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And with Cambridgeshire County Council elections due again next year – and Tories trailing heavily in all national opinion polls – it is hard to imagine any change of political power at New Shire Hall anytime soon.

Celebrating his victory in yesterday’s (Thursday) by election was Lib Dem Andrew Wood, vice chair of Yaxley parish council.

He topped the poll with 509 votes, pushing the Conservative candidate Kev Gulson into second place with 470 votes.

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Independent Sally Ann Howell came in third, with 448 votes; ironically in 2022 she beat Mac McGuire to win a seat on Huntingdonshire District Council.

Labour’s Richard Ilett came fourth yesterday with 175 votes, and Ellisa Westerman for the Greens fourth with 42 votes.

What may have played a part in Mr Wood’s election was concerns he and others have raised over flooding from a housing estate on land owned by Peterborough City Council and just outside of Yaxley.

The parish council has clashed with the city council over reasons for the flooding

The Great Haddon development will eventually comprise 5,000 homes and although is part of Huntingdonshire District Council, planning for the development falls within the remit of Peterborough City Council.

Backing for residents has come from the MP for North West Cambridgeshire Shailesh Vara.

“Not enough attention was given to the flood risk for Yaxley and its residents at the early planning stages of the development,” he told the BBC.

 

 

 

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