Labour hold seat in St George by-election for Northamptonshire County Council

Anjona Roy has been elected as the new county councillor for the St George division
Anjona Roy has been elected as the new county councillor for the St George division

Labour have held their seat in the St George by-election after Anjona Roy won the vacant position on Northamptonshire County Council.

The by-election took place yesterday following the resignation of previous Labour councillor Rachel Cooley in May, but Labour held off the challenge of the Liberal Democrats to retain the ward.

Mrs Roy, who returns to public office after a spell as a borough councillor in the Spencer ward from 1999 to 2003, won 839 votes to Lib Dem Martin Sawyer’s 564 votes.

And she says she hopes to bring more ‘transparency’ to the authority, after an election campaign in which she says residents vented their fury at the performance of the county council.

Speaking after her victory was declared at The Guildhall today (July 20), she said: “I’m very thrilled and privileged that the people of Semilong, Trinity, Kingsley and Links View have given me their confidence.

“It’s an extraordinary time in politics both locally and nationally, but particularly locally as people feel angry with what’s happening with the county council.

“At the moment we have a whole host of new reports critiquing the county council on its culture, transparency and openness, and I feel I can that I can be a champion for more open transparency.”

Mrs Roy increased Labour’s share of the vote from 40.30 per cent last May to 44.55 per cent this time around.

And she says that she will be going to work straight away for her new ward residents, and would be championing their views on the upcoming re-organisation of local government in the area - with two new unitary authorities set to be created for the county in 2020.

Mrs Roy said she would be backing calls for Northampton to have its own unitary authority.

She added: “People feel that they are paying more council tax for less services. They have seen the county council go bust with devastating effects.

“It’s a very challenging time for us, and local representatives must be seen to be working hard.

“St George is a very diverse division, but they feel very strongly about preserving a council just for Northampton, and having decisions made for them by people in their town.”

RESULTS IN FULL:

Scott Mabbutt (Green Party) - 83

Anjona Roy (Labour) - 839

Martin Sawyer (Liberal Democrats) - 564

Andy Smiles (UKIP) - 111

Ausra Uzukauskaite (Conservative) - 285

Turnout: 21.4 per cent

Votes cast: 1,883 (one spoiled)