Conservatives take historic Gosport Labour seat as Tories increase council majority

AN HISTORIC ward that has been in Labour’s hands for four decades has been turned blue in Gosport.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 5:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 2:32 am

The town’s Conservatives are celebrating an increased majority in Gosport Borough Council, after voters went to the polls on May 6.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are also claiming the day as a victory, having held onto all six of their incumbent seats.

But the Labour Party has been left to ponder what might have been, with just one councillor left on the borough council.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Conservative team on the council Picture: David George

Read More

Read More
Portsmouth pub landlords issue rallying cry for new staff amid claims 'no one wa...

The Town ward, which has two councillors representing its residents, has been in the hands of the Labour Party since the 1980s.

But with a majority of 80, former police officer Lesley Meenaghan has now taken one of those seats.

She said: ‘I’m elated. I think we have worked really hard in Town and it has clearly paid off.

Lesley Meenaghan, who won the Town ward Picture: David George

‘I love my town and its people, and have always treated my neighbours with the respect and compassion they deserve.

‘I’m over the moon and cannot wait to get stuck in.’

Later this month, Conservative Party leader Cllr Mark Hook is stepping down, and will be replaced by his deputy Cllr Graham Burgess.

On his final election, Cllr Hook said: ‘We have doubled our majority from two to four, and pulled around 50 per cent of the vote.

The count at Gosport Leisure Centre for Gosport Borough Council Picture David George

‘That shows the confidence people have in my Conservative administration, and we will work hard to ensure that confidence is well-placed.

‘We have been working tirelessly in the community – in food banks, vaccination centres and so on – because we care about this town.’

The current makeup of Gosport council is now 19 Conservatives, 14 Liberal Democrats and one Labour Party councillor.

Despite not making any gains, Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Peter Chegwyn believes his party has bucked the national trend.

He said: ‘One ward has changed hands, but everything else stayed the same.

‘We defended our seats comfortably and came close to making gains in two other wards – 90 votes or so would have swung everything the other way.

‘In my opinion it’s very much an “as you were” situation.’

Next year, the ward boundaries will be redrawn, shrinking the number of seats to 28 across 14 wards.

This will spark another election, with every councillor’s seat up for grabs.

Despite losing out heavily in Gosport this time around, Labour Party chairman Mark Smith is optimistic that next year will yield better results for his team.

He said: ‘Today has been very disappointing, to tell the truth.

‘It’s down to a few different things, like having three elections on the same day, but this is in no way a reflection of our team or the campaign we’ve run.

‘This is not a good day for us, but we’ve got it all to play for next year and we’ll come back stronger than ever.’

After months of meetings via Microsoft Teams, Gosport Borough Council will be meeting in person later this month.

The provisional full council meeting on Wednesday, May 19, is set to be held in Thorngate Hall to comply with social distancing guidelines.

The full results from Gosport Borough Council are as follows:

Alverstoke

Mark Hook (Con): 861

Bill Charlton (Lib Dem): 581

Jonathan Eaton (Lab): 137

Majority: 180

Turnout: 45.04%

Con hold

Anglesey

Philip Raffaelli (Con): 769

Adele Earle (Lib Dem): 351

Mark Smith (Lab): 128

James Kirkham (Green): 65

Dale Fletcher (Ind): 61

Majority: 318

Turnout: 46.20%

Con hold

Bridgemary North

Steve Hammond (Lib Dem): 870

Supriya Namdeo (Con): 326

Daniel Stratton (Lab): 76

Majority: 544

Turnout: 36.96%

Lib Dem hold

Bridgemary South

Kathleen Jones (Con): 663

Angela Prickett (Lib Dem): 397

Charis Noakes (Lab): 196

Majority: 226

Turnout: 28.22%

Con hold

Brockhurst

Rob Hylands (Lib Dem): 684

Pecs Uluiviti (Con): 313

Alison Mandrill (Lab): 90

Majority: 371

Turnout: 29.58%

Lib Dem hold

Christchurch

Dawn Kelly (Lib Dem): 664

Rob Thompson (Con): 443

Robin Dellow (Lab): 153

Robert Johnston (Green): 97

Majority: 221

Turnout: 34.49%

Lib Dem hold

Elson

Richard Earle (Lib Dem): 584

Natasha Hook (Con): 396

Emma Smith (Lab): 75

Tabitha Evans (Green): 68

Majority: 188

Turnout: 32.36%

Lib Dem hold

Forton

Mervin Bradley (Lib Dem): 411

Gary Walker (Con): 272

Claire Percival (Lab): 112

Geoff O'Flanagan (Ind): 102

Majority: 139

Turnout: 26.88%

Lib Dem hold

Grange

Maggie Morgan (Con): 478

Jonathan Brown (Lab): 208

David Fenton (Lib Dem): 159

Majority: 270

Turnout: 20.02%

Con hold

Hardway

Diane Furlong (Con): 633

Lesley Carr (Lib Dem): 588

Dr Lynn Day (Lab): 173

Jason Mick (Green): 82

Majority: 45

Turnout: 35%

Con hold

Lee East

Graham Burgess (Con): 1,094

Kirsten Bradley (Lib Dem): 549

Paul Nokes (Labour): 118

Majority: 545

Turnout: 38.49%

Con hold

Lee West

John Beavis (Con): 1,574

Dr Marie Cruddas (Lab): 236

Rachel Melieres-Frost (Lib Dem: 193

Majority: 1,338

Turnout: 46.34%

Con hold

Leesland

David Herridge (Lib Dem): 451

Christopher Best (Con): 348

Hilary Percival (Lab): 224

Sam Pollard (Green): 76

Majority: 103

Turnout: 31.71%

Lib Dem hold

Peel Common

Stephen Philpott (Con): 800

Tracey Harrowsmith (Lib Dem): 504

Majority: 296

Turnout: 40.01

Privett

Zoe Huggins (Con): 675

Bob Maynard (Lib Dem): 303

Aretha Green (Lab): 277

Majority: 372

Turnout: 38.30%

Con hold

Rowner and Holbrook

Marcus Murphy (Con): 397

Stephen Marshall (Lib Dem): 352

Hannah Barnard (Lab): 103

Majority: 45

Turnout: 26.25%

Con hold

Town

Lesley Meenaghan (Con): 563

Christopher Percival (Lab): 483

Vincent Berkeley (Ind): 88

Alison Charlton (Lib Dem): 81

Emma Bell (Green): 78

Aaron Pinder (Reform UK); 27

Majority: 80

Turnout: 33.70%

Con gain

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.