Following the unexpected death of Green Party Candidate Tim Morgan days before the local elections took place for the rest of the Bath and North East Somerset Council seats on 4th May, Paulton held their re-scheduled ballot last week on Thursday, 22nd June.
Eight candidates stood for the two positions available to represent Paulton on Bath and North East Somerset Council.
All of those running were standing for the Council on the original election date, with the addition of new Green Party candidate Edward Arnall-Culliford.
Results were announced on Friday, 23rd June. It was revealed that Labour Councillors Liz Hardman and Grant Johnson held their Council seats, winning seventy percent of the vote.
Winning 703 votes, Liz Hardman is now in her fourth term on Bath and North East Somerset Council.
She told LDRS reporter John Wimperis, “It’s a job I truly love. I was a teacher before but this is the best job I have ever had.”
Thanking Paulton residents, she added, “My pledge to them is I will do everything I can to reinstate the 82 bus which is so important to our community.”
Grant Johnson is now sitting his second term on the Council after winning 645 votes, and told John Wimperis, “I’m so proud to represent the place I was born in once more. We still have a lot to do of course and there are still fights to be had, but we are confident we can represent our residents’ views to the best of our abilities.”
Bath and North East Somerset Labour Council leader Robin Moss said, “It’s great to have both Liz and Grant back as Councillors, adding to our five existing Councillors, confirms that its our best result since 1999.”
Labour are the official opposition for the Liberal Democrats, with a total of seven seats on Bath and North East Somerset Council. The Liberal Democrats have forty one seats.
The total number of votes casted was down from the last local election in 2019. Last time, there were a total of 2,421 counted, compared to 1,875 last week.
It has been speculated that the change of election date could have affected these figures, as some voters may not have been aware of the new date. One postal vote was rejected due to it being a vote for the original date of May 4th.
Grant Johnson said, “I just wanted to thank everyone that turned up to vote; any deferred election is difficult to deal with, but I’m glad it was all worth while in the end!”
He added: “I think the scale of the victory here shows the appetite there is to vote Labour in North East Somerset, if residents have someone that is truly local and backs the things that matter to them. The next fight will be to take the constituency back off the Tories after thirteen years of mismanagement.”
Metro Mayor Dan Norris weighed in on the election results. He was pleased to see a 5.7% swing of votes from the Conservatives and a 9.75% swing from the Lib Dems.
“Huge congratulations to Liz and Grant. This is a fantastic result. As I spoke to residents, many of them told me they are sick and tired of the Conservatives who have mismanaged the economy, created a cost-of-living crisis and run down our public services. There is no room for complacency.”
“As the general election looms it is so important for Labour to continue to listen carefully and keep building trust just as we have done here in Paulton.”
Paulton election results
Edward Arnall-Culliford Green Party - 51
Deborah BrosnanGreen Party - 69
Belinda Mary GornallLiberal Democrats - 52
Melanie Jane BullardLiberal Democrats - 55
Deirdre Mary HorstmannConservative Party 122
Alex James FrostConservative Party 178
Liz HardmanLabour Party 703
Grant Christopher Johnson Labour Party 645