Long-standing Lib Dem holds on to seat in close battle with Tory as no change comes to borough

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A long-standing councillor has vowed to bring improvements to a village after he was narrowly voted in as councillor in the early hours of this morning.

Roger Price, leader of Fareham Liberal Democrats, who has held the Portchester seat since 1993 was able to hang on to beat Tory candidate Geoff Fazackarley by less than 150 votes in a closely-fought contest.

Cllr Roger Price

Cllr Roger Price

Following his victory over a former party member, Cllr Price said: ‘I pledge to bring forward the improvements that this village needs and provide a real difference.

‘I will call on the council for the funds that will help regenerate Portchester precinct which needs to be updated and is requiring significant work.

‘It has been a hard-fought campaign and I thank all who gave me the backing to succeed and to allow me to serve Portchester.’

The councillor took home the seat after winning 2,648 votes with future Fareham mayor Geoff Fazackarley winning 2,504 votes.

In a tightly-fought contest in Crofton, Tory Pal Hayre managed to ward off the threat posed by Lib Dem Jim Forrest taking 49 per cent of the vote.

She said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled with it. It was close but a great result for me in the end.

‘I’m keen to get started and my priorities will be adult social care, education, the Stubbington Bypass and IFA2.’

Mr Forrest was gracious in defeat, stating: ‘I’ve managed to really boost the vote for the Lib Dems in Crofton so I am delighted with that. Pal will be a good councillor as she is well-known in the area and works well with the community.’

Geoffrey Hockley retained Titchfield on the night for the Tories, pocketing 3,270 votes.

He said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to have been elected once again to stand for the people of Titchfield.

‘I can only thank my constituents for their faith in me. I could not have done it without their support.

Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward also retained his long-standing seat in Sarisbury with 2,818 votes.

He said: ‘I am absolutely delighted with it. It has all gone extremely well for us tonight. I have brought millions worth of transport improvements to the county in my role so I have a pretty solid track record and I am proud to continue.’