Bridgwater’s former Mayor, Diogo Rodrigues, has been voted in as the Leader of Sedgemoor District Labour Group by his fellow Councillors following the District Council elections of May 2nd which saw Labour increase its numbers to 12 seats and the Tories crash down from 35 to 28 but still retaining control in a night where all other Somerset Districts saw them evicted from the seats of power. The decision will mean that Diogo will become the Leader of the Opposition on Sedgemoor District Council.
The vacancy arose because experienced former Labour Leader Mick Lerry narrowly lost his Bridgwater Victoria seat by just 10 votes to Tory incumbant Lance Duddridge, although new Labour candidate Julie Cordiner came top of the Victoria Poll. Mick however retained his Town seat for Victoria.
Tory majority reduced
Cllr Brian Smedley (Labour Westover) who retains his role as District group Deputy Leader, said “The new District Council will hold their first meeting on Wednesday 22nd May and that’s where the people will find out what roles their new councillors will have and what direction the Tory administration will take us. However, with the reduction in the Tory majority to only just over 50% of the vote it means that committees will be more finely balanced and we hope that they will pursue policies that we can support, otherwise we will obviously be a stronger opposition for them and hold them to account.”
Diogo easily topped the poll in his Bridgwater Dunwear ward which saw the eviction of Sedgemoors last surviving UKIP councillor and new councillor Alexia Bartlett also gaining a seat there.
12 Labour District Councillors
The Sedgemoor Labour group also sees a balanced number of male/female councillors with several new members including Li Gibson (Eastover) Liz Leavy (Hamp) Julie Cordiner (Victoria) Hilary Bruce (Fairfax) and Alexia Bartlett (Dunwear). The group also returned some long term stalwarts such as Graham Granter and Alec Glassford (Fairfax) Leigh Redman (Hamp) and Brian Smedley & Kathy Pearce (Westover). Bridgwater’s next Mayor, Tony Heywood, was elected to a district seat in Eastover for the first time and along with Diogo Rodrigues (Dunwear) completes the set.
For a full set of results click here.