Lib Dems celebrate double win on Morecambe Town Council

The Liberal Democrats won two seats on Morecambe Town Council in by-elections on Friday - including one by a single vote.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 12:30 pm
The winning Lib Dem candidates in the Morecambe Town Council by-election were Bill Jackson (fourth from the left) and Louise Stansfield (fifth from the left).

The elections were caused because of the resignations of two Independent councillors who were elected in 2019 as Morecambe Bay Independents.

In Heysham North Louise Stansfield won a fiercely fought contest by just a single vote over the Labour candidate Claire Cozler, and in Westgate ward it was a resounding victory for the Liberal Democrat candidate Bill Jackson, with a clear 249 majority over Catherine Potter for Labour.

This is the first time that either wards have had Liberal Democrat representation

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These results mean that the Morecambe Liberal Democrats now have six councillors on the town council, with Paul Hart winning the Poulton by-election in May, and Catherine Pilling and Richard Blaikie winning the Harbour and Bare South East by-elections in August.

Jim Pilling has been a Liberal Democrat councillor for Lune Drive ward since 2017.

Morecambe Bay Independents were bottom of both polls, although they remain the largest group with 11 councillors on the 26-seat council.

Winning councillor Bill Jackson said: “I am delighted to represent the people of Westgate and look forward to joining the rest of the team on the council and working together for the benefit of Morecambe and its residents.”

Louise Stansfield, Heysham North ward’s first ever Liberal Democrat councillor, said: “I am delighted that our campaign was so successful and well worth all the hard work.

"I am humbled that the residents put their trust in me. They seem to appreciate our contact with them and were happy to tell us the issues that were important to them.

"The team will certainly be following the local Liberal Democrat tradition of working all year round.”

The local Liberal Democrat chairman Peter Jackson said: “We are deeply thankful to the voters who put their trust in us.

"This is a huge swing away from Labour and the Morecambe Bay Independents. After five successive victories in Morecambe in the last six months it is clear that the residents are turning towards a new, different way of doing politics in which we work in partnership with the community to tackle problems which have dogged the area for many years, and people can actually begin to see the difference.”

Results:

Heysham North: Louise Stansfield (Lib Dem) 99, Claire Cozler (Lab) 98, Mavis Newton (MBI) 84. Turnout 10.5%.

Westgate: Bill Jackson (Lib Dem) 396, Catherine Potter (Lab) 147, Geoff Knight (MBI) 108. Turnout 16.2%.

Meanwhile, Carnforth and Millhead elected a Labour councillor in a Lancaster City Council by-election last Thursday.

Luke Taylor had a majority of 223 over his Conservative opponent Stuart Bateson in a four-cornered contest.

Coun Taylor, a former Blackpool borough councillor, replaces John Reynolds, originally a Labour representative who switched to being Independent before resigning in September.

Two further by-elections for seats on the city council take place on December 2 in Bare and Upper Lune Valley.