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Lib Dem victory in Huntingdonshire District Council by election

Swing of 10% from Conservative to Lib Dems at Hunts by election

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A by election on Thursday for one of the 52 seats on Huntingdonshire District Council was won by the Liberal Democrats in a seat held previously by the Conservatives. The result, however, will have little impact on overall control of the council which has been run since 2022 by a cross-party alliance of Independents, Liberal Democrats, Labour, and Greens.

Liberal Democrats now have 12 seats on the council, HDC Independent Group 15, Labour 4, Green 1, and Conservatives 20.

A swing of around 10 per cent from Conservatives to Lib Democrats allowed James Catmur to win the vacancy for the Great Paxton ward.

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RESULT

CATMUR, James Roger Liberal Democrat 518 (Elected)

GOODMAN, Catherine James The Green Party candidate 49

HUGHES, James Andrew The Labour Party 102

LAAKKONEN, Ari Pekka The Conservative Party Candidate 414

Turnout: 42.2 %

RESULT (2022)

WEST, Richard John (Con) 540 (elected)

ASHBY, Daniel Martin (Lib Dem) 435

GOLDSMITH, Peter (Lab) 119

“This time, James Catmur received 48% of the vote, with the Conservative dropping to 38%,” said Ian Sollom, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire.

“This is a swing of 10% from Conservative to Lib Dems. Labour came in a distant third place.”

The by election was caused by the resignation of long serving Conservative councillor Richard West.

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Tory pre election literature for Hunts district council by election

Cllr Catmur said: “I am so proud that the residents of the ward, where I have lived for 27 years, have put their faith and trust in me.

“Serving on the parish council of my village, I know well many of the issues that we face in this area, and I can start trying to tackle them.”

Mr Sollom added: “James has lived and worked in our area for over 35 years and raised his 2 children here. He is passionate about our communities and understands the unique issues they’re facing.

“As a disabled person, James particularly understands the challenges the residents of our rural villages face in accessing services and getting around. James will fight to see bus services improved, as well as to tackle speeding and ‘rat running’.”

Tory candidate Ari Laakkonen with Parliamentary candidate Antony Browne MP

Tory candidate Ari Laakkonen with Parliamentary candidate Antony Browne MP

He added: “As a Great Gransden parish councillor, James successfully worked to get an improvement in bus services, getting the number of buses back up to 3 per day after having no buses at all. He also led his local speed watch team for 5 years and knows how to win money from local councils to get speed limits reduced and traffic calming measures in place.”

Daniel Ashby, the Lib Dem candidate in 2022, said ahead the by election: “It is with a heavy heart that I shall not be standing in the ward by-election for a number of personal reasons.

“However, I am glad to say that James Catmur – a veteran of local politics – will be standing as the LibDem candidate.

“James is a great choice having been a councillor for Great Gransden for many years who supported me through our narrow defeat at the election only a few years ago.”

Huntingdonshire Conservatives paid tribute to Richard West who had been a councillor for 18 years.

The party said his “unwavering commitment stands as a beacon of inspiration.

Ward map, Great Paxton, where Lib Dems have won a by election

Ward map, Great Paxton, where Lib Dems have won a by election for Huntingdonshire District Council

“His efforts and genuine concerns for the residents did not go unnoticed. Richard poured everything in his role, ensuring that voices were heard, and needs were addressed.

“As Richard stands down, the community extends its deepest gratitude for his selfless service. His legacy of integrity, dedication and his unwavering advocacy will continue to inspire for years”.

 

 

 

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