Council By-election preview by Andrew Teale (7th July 2016)

Here is another great preview of the upcoming by elections by @andrewteale I would like to thank him for letting our blog reproduce his work he runs a fantastic website if you have an interest in election results like myself you will find it an invaluable source of information.

APPLEBY (APPLEBY), Eden council, Cumbria; caused by the death of
Independent councillor Keith Morgan at the age of 73.  Morgan was a
veteran of local government, having been first elected to Eden district
council in 1991 as a leader of the campaign to save the Settle-Carlisle
railway; he had represented this ward since 1999.  Also an Appleby town
councillor since 1983, Morgan served twice as chairman of Eden council
in 2007-08 and 2012-13.

For the first of this week's three by-elections we take a trip up to the
old county town of Westmorland.  Appleby-in-Westmorland (as the town was
renamed following local government reform in 1974) can be found in the
shadow of the High Pennines within a bend of the River Eden; this
curiously-named ward is the half of the town lying to the south-west of
the river, with the other half forming Appleby (Bongate) ward.  With the
demise of the town as a county town (although Westmorland county council
was never based here, instead being run from Kendal) Appleby has been
left with tourism as the driver for its economy, together with the
Appleby Horse Fair, dating back to at least the twelfth century, which
brings to the town each June gypsies and travellers from all over the UK
and Ireland.  The census statistics show an old and almost uniformly
British population: 32% of the population are aged over 64 and 98% were
born in the UK, 25% of the workforce are retired, and those jobs which
exist are generally routine work; the ward also has high levels of
Christianity (73%).  The general area is still recovering from the
effects of Storm Desmond last December; a major landslip caused by the
storm means that Appleby has been the effective northern terminus of the
Settle-Carlisle line so far this year, and trains to Carlisle are not
expected to resume before 2017.

Appleby was once a pocket borough controlled by the Lowther family (the
Earls of Lonsdale) whose MPs included Pitt the Younger and Viscount
Howick (later Earl Grey), although that didn't stop Appleby from
becoming the only county town disenfranchised by Grey's Great Reform
Act.  As a remote area of England, Eden is one of the last strongholds
of the rural independent councillor and has a very large number of
unopposed elections: this appears to be only the third contested
election to Appleby (Appleby) ward since it was created in 1973, and the
first since 2003 when Morgan was re-elected by a majority of just one
vote, 192 to 191.  Looking up to county level, the Appleby county
division was safe Tory in 2013 but covers a large rural area outside the
town itself.

Defending for the independents is Karen Greenwood, who works in
Appleby's tourist information centre.  In the first contested election
in this ward for thirteen years, she is opposed by the Tories' Philip
Guest, an IT marketer.

Parliamentary constituency: Penrith and the Border
Cumbria county council division: Appleby

May 2015 result Ind unopposed
May 2011 result Ind unopposed
May 2007 result Ind unopposed
May 2003 result Ind 192 Ind 191

CARLFORD, Suffolk county council; caused by the death of Conservative
councillor Peter Bellfield.  A Suffolk county councillor since winning a
by-election in 2003, Bellfield had formerly worked in the financial
services industry and was chairman of the councils pensions  committee.

This is a large rural division which essentially covers the countryside
between Ipswich, Woodbridge and Framlingham.  It contains twenty-six
parishes, none of which are called Carlford; the name instead
commemorates the former Carlford Hundred, which took in much of this
area.  The largest centre of population in the division is probably
Grundisburgh, a village of around 1600 souls notable for its
fourteenth-century church which contains a mediaeval mural of St

Bellfield had a safe seat; at his last re-election in 2013 he polled
59%, with UKIP's 19% being best of the rest.  Unfortunately recent ward
boundary changes in the local district (Suffolk Coastal) completely fail
to match up with the county division boundaries and as a result it is
not possible to draw conclusions from them.  The Suffolk Tories are
having a horrible run at the moment, having lost five by-elections and
control of the county council in the last two months, but this should be
more fruitful territory for them.

Defending for the Tories is Robin Vickery, an Ipswich borough
councillor.  UKIP have not followed up their second-place finish in
2013, so Vickery is opposed by Revd Canon Graham Hedger,
priest-in-charge for much of the division, who is the Labour candidate;
Jon Neal for the Liberal Democrats; and Jacqueline Barrow for the Green

Parliamentary constituency: Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
Suffolk Coastal district council wards: Framlingham (part), Fynn Valley
(part), Grundisburgh, Hacheston (part), Wickham Market (part),
Woodbridge (part)

May 2013 result C 1565 UKIP 504 Lab 374 LD 208
June 2009 result C 2172 LD 865 Lab 236
May 2005 result C 2828 LD 1324 Lab 916

MOSTYN, Conwy county borough council; caused by the resignation of
Labour councillor Jobi Hold.  Hold has been unable to attend meetings of
the council due to his job captaining a boat in the oil and gas
industry; when on dry land he is now living in Cornwall.

It's July, the weather's nice, so let's go to the seaside.
Specifically, we're in Llandudno, a town on the North Wales coast which
has a long history (there are Bronze Age copper mines on the Great Orme
above the town) but whose development really began in earnest in the
mid-nineteenth century under the auspices of the landowner, Lord Mostyn.
  A major storm in 1859 which damaged the town's pier put paid to early
ideas of turning Llandudno into a major Irish Sea port; instead the town
developed as a seaside resort and its connection to the railway network
in 1858 ensured the town has been filled with holidaymakers ever since.
Many people (including your columnist) come for the Victorian weekend
each May, in which Mostyn Street - the town's main shopping street, just
behind the North Promenade - is turned into a funfair.  The Mostyn
family have left their mark on the town in other ways: Oriel Mostyn,
endowed by one of the family, is one of the UK's leading galleries of
contemporary art; and the present Lord Mostyn, who still owns much of
the town, was reported in 2013 to be the 13th-richest person in the UK
under the age of 30 (he's over 30 now).

Mostyn's demographics aren't particularly notable, although the
workforce tends towards the lower end of the class scale.  This makes it
the strongest of Llandudno's five divisions for Labour, although Labour
only ran one candidate here in the 2012 election: Jobi Hold topped the
poll with around 45%, a long way ahead of a tight three-way race for the
other seat which was won by independent candidate Dewi Miles on 26%,
seven votes ahead of the leading Conservative candidate and fifteen
votes ahead of independent Janet Jones.  Miles gained a Tory seat
previously held by Janet Howarth, who had moved to another Conwy
division and later briefly served on the Welsh Assembly, losing her seat
to UKIP in May's election.

Defending for Labour is Emily Owen, a Bangor University student who
works for a local estate agent and spent part of last week completing
the Three Peaks challenge, climbing Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis
for the benefit of a dog rescue charity.  There are two competing
independent candidates, Richard "The Lion" Enston and John Thomas.  The
Tory candidate is Greg Robbins, a Llandudno town councillor (and Mayor
of Llandudno in 2011-12) who has recently defected to the party from
Plaid Cymru.  Also standing are Penelope Appleton for the Lib Dems and
John Humberstone, who stood here as an independent in 2012 and came
eighth out of nine candidates, for UKIP.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Aberconwy

May 2012 result Lab 436 Ind 250 C 243/199 Ind 235 LD 131 Ind 72 Ind 38
Ind 33
May 2008 result Lab 331/277 C 304/275 Ind 182 Ind 173 PC 147
June 2004 result Lab 505/504 Ind 224 LD 187/155 Ind 170 C 157/130


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