First results in West Northamptonshire Council could be a sign of things to come with new political marriages

"I’m sure we will be good together and have a mutual understanding to help people"

Friday, 7th May 2021, 3:58 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:11 pm
Dennis Meredith
Dennis Meredith

The first announcement for West Northamptonshire suggests the new unitary council’s structure will not see many happy political marriages.

Each ward under the new unitary has three seats - which could easily lead to three councillors from three different parties attempting to work together for their residents.

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And the first result today, Talavera, has hinted how this might be a struggle.

The Liberal Democrats’ Dennis Meredith, who has been the ward’s county councillor for over 10 years, came in the lead with 1,020.

But none of his Lib Dem colleagues came with him. The other two seats were taken by Labour’s Janice Duffy and Naz Choudary.

Indeed, Janice Duffy, the area’s borough councillor since 2015, took the second seat with 1,003 - only 17 behind the Lib Dem front man.

And speaking after the announcement, Councillors Meredith and Duffy expressed a sense of terse optimism for their future working together.

Naz Choudarywas not at the count to hear he had won and could not be reached for comment.

“I have always tried to work hard with Dennis Meredith,” Janice Duffy said with some pause. “We work for the community. That’s why people get into politics. We’re both hard workers. And I’m sure we will be good together and have a mutual understanding to help people.”

“I have just made a comment to Janice Duffy,” said Dennis Meredith after the announcement. “I said that we have to work together. We’ve had our different points of view in the past but I’m hoping we can push through this.”

Councillor Duffy said she thought the two new seats for Labour was a “very good result” and said she looked forward to tackling the growth of HMOs.

Councillor Meredith said: “I’m delighted that I have been elected and I’m very grateful the residents have voted for me. I’m very sad that my two colleagues didn’t get elected with me.”