Local elections 2019: Tories sweep Havant Borough Council to hold all 11 seats
CONSERVATIVES have hailed ‘excellent’ 2019 local election results in Havant after holding all 11 seats up for grabs across the borough.
The clean sweep prompted a prosecco toast in the council chamber as Tory councillors now vow to ‘put into practice’ longstanding plans for regeneration and new housing.
Michael Wilson, leader of the authority, won in his new ward of Hayling East with a majority of 502 votes – ending a period of uncertainty after switching from Hayling West.
‘It’s excellent news to have a clean sweep across the borough this evening,’ he said.
‘I'm very pleased because I think it's a vindication of the work we've been doing locally – particularly the strategy for regeneration for Havant and Hayling.’
Earlier in the night there were fears voter turnout could be as low as 25 per cent, tied to an ‘apathy’ on national issues such as Brexit.
But figures revealed it had risen to 31.52 per cent – up slightly from last year’s local election stat of 31.27 per cent.
RESULTS: Click here to see the latest results from Havant
As counts began shortly after 10pm, Conservative cabinet lead for contracts and commercial services, Cllr Gary Hughes, said his party had unambiguous aspirations to lock down all seats available – across 10 of the borough’s 14 wards.
'Hopefully it'll be a successful evening, it won't be for a lack of hard work,' he said.
'It's a challenging environment for all of us and I would like to hope those who are voting today are voting on local issues.
'I think we are a good authority and we all try to do best for our residents - after all we're residents ourselves.'
As the night began, there were 30 Conservative councillors, two UKIP and Labour councillors and one Liberal Democrat councillor sitting.
Former UKIP councillor for Hayling West, John Perry, attempted to re-stand after stepping down at the end of his first term of office in 2018.
The reason for that, he said at the time, was because his party had achieved their goal of seeking an exit from the European Union.
More than two years after the referendum in June 2016, we remain.
John was unsuccessful, but picked up 733 votes – 540 behind Conservative victor Clare Satchwell.
He said as the count got under way: 'Ukip has not achieved our end goal of leaving the EU and the Conservatives have betrayed the EU referendum result, as have Labour.’
He added: 'If we got three or more [seats], I'll be very pleased.'
Among candidates' chatter were hopes the younger generation assembled to cast its vote, with councillors having unanimously passed the borough's local plan for 2036 – the subject of at least 10,000 new homes, for future generations.
The wards which were up for grabs, and all remained Conservative, were Bedhampton, Cowplain, Emsworth, Hart Plain, Hayling East, Hayling West, Purbrook, St Faiths, Stakes and Waterloo.