Tories strengthen grip with by-election win

THE Tories have reinforced their stronghold in Havant with an election victory.

Conservative Elaine Shimbart won the Hart Plain seat on Havant Borough Council with a large majority of the votes.

She replaces Lib Dem Tricia Pearce, who resigned earlier this year, shortly after The News revealed she rarely showed up to meetings.

Cllr Shimbart, of Hart Plain Avenue, Cowplain, secured 839 votes, beating the Lib Dem candidate John Jacobs who won 593 votes with Labour candidate Kenneth Monks trailing with just 84 votes.

The result returns the balance of parties on Havant Borough Council to the way it was following the local elections in May.

Once again there are 30 Tories, four Lib Dems and four Labour councillors. The number of Tories had fallen to 29 after Battins ward councillor Jane Rayner(Cons) died in September, and was replaced by Lib Dem Cllr Faith Ponsonby.

Just over 21 per cent of Hart Plain turned out for the election, which was held in five polling stations yesterday. A total of 1,516 votes were cast.