(L to R) Dale Needham, Gareth Shephard, Andrew Cousins
For the first time ever, the Pocklington Provincial Ward has elected three Liberal Democrat councillors Dale Needham, Gareth Shephard and Andrew Cousins. If the election had been decided on the sheer number of leaflets coming through the letter box the Lib Dems would have won hands down two weeks ago.
Sixteen years of Conservative domination of Pocklington Provincial have come to an end. With the exception of the by election in 2016 when the bully and keen upskirt photographer Andy Strangeway was elected, the ward has always returned three Tory candidates.
Cllr Kay West has represented the ward for 16 years. In 2015 she peaked with 4,542 votes. She must be very disappointed and shocked this weekend having told friends she was confident she would be re-elected. This time round she came 5th with 1,424 votes cast.
In their campaign the Pock Lib Dems have sold the vision of a ‘positive future’. Promising a plan to:
  • deal with NHS waiting times (still don’t know how)
  • bring our crumbling local roads and services up to scratch
  • protect and enhance our local environment.
  • responsible planning to benefit our community.
  • improve local infrastructure.
Which all sounds great. All they need to do now is deliver.
To their list I would also add:
  • Ensuring ERYC officers respond to Town Councils and residents’ correspondence within 10 working days.
  • Make ERYC engage with the town council about Burnby Hall.
  • Ensure ERYC engages with PTC to secure a banking hub.
  • Make sure ERYC prioritises road resurfacing for Pocklington.
  • Publish a communications strategy for engaging with Pocklington provincial residents.
  • Make every effort to secure a devolution deal which would unlock addtional funds for our area.
All of this can start on Tuesday as I hope they will celebrate their success across the weekend.
Somewhere in the background deals are now being done to try and form a majority administration. The Conservatives no longer have a working majority so either they will need to do deals with the other parties or the Liberal Democrats will. Personally, I sincerely hope we end up with a more effective council leader than Jonathan Owen who achieved nothing during his brief tenure as leader and was clearly out of his depth.
Congratulations on a good campaign and impressive win to Andrew, Gareth and Dale. I would also like to recognise and thank the other candidates who put themselves forward to represent the ward. They might not have been successful this time round but (with the exception of the two Conservative candidates and the one Independent) I thought there were some very impressive profiles published on this group.
Onward and upward!

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