Hear from Cranbrook's first district councillors

PUBLISHED: 19:20 03 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:16 09 May 2019

Newly-elected district councillors Kevin Blakey, Kim Bloxham and Sam Hawkins. Picture: Ray Bloxham

Newly-elected district councillors Kevin Blakey, Kim Bloxham and Sam Hawkins. Picture: Ray Bloxham

Ray Bloxham

Three Cranbook town councillors, standing as Independents, won seats on East Devon District Council in the local elections.

Cranbrook's newly-elected district councillors say they are looking forward to 'getting Cranbrook's point of view heard' in East Devon.

Three of Cranbrook's town councillors - Kevin Blakey, Kim Bloxham and Sam Hawkins - won seats on the district council in the local elections on Thursday, May 2. It is the first time Cranbrook has been represented on the local authority, as the ward came into being after the last district council elections.

All three are Independents, reflecting the general trend in East Devon which saw the Conservatives losing overall control of the district council for the first time in over two decades, and the Independents - including the East Devon Alliance - gaining a significant majority.

Kevin Blakey, chairman of Cranbrook Town Council, won 427 votes, councillor Kim Bloxham 506 and councillor Sam Hawkins 392. Fellow town council members Matt Osborn and Nick Partridge, both Conservatives, also stood for the district council, and won 228 votes and 221 respectively. Liberal Democrat Pauline Garbutt took 153 votes and Labour candidate Sue Mills won 144.

Speaking after the results were announced, Mr Blakey said: "On behalf of all three of us, I can say we're very pleased. We recognise that there's an immense amount of work to be done now and are really looking forward to getting Cranbrook's point of view heard in East Devon, because up until now we have not had any direct representation."

He added that it was also very pleasing for the three Independents, between them, to have gained about half of the votes in Cranbrook.

Kim Bloxham said; "I am absolutely delighted to be elected as one of the three new members for Cranbrook. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and supported and encouraged me through the campaign. My priority has always been to fight for the town and being elected to the district council gives me an opportunity to press for EDDC to have a greater commitment to Cranbrook. Having been elected today, membership of any committees is something to think about over the next few days."

Sam Hawkins said: "I'm incredibly pleased to be elected, especially as one of Cranbrook's first ever representatives at the district council. I'm most grateful for all the support I've received and to everyone that voted. My role on the town council gives me a good understanding and puts me in a strong position to be able to represent the town alongside my fellow councillors. I'm looking forward to getting started!"

The political make-up of East Devon District Council now stands at: Independents/East Devon Alliance 31 seats; Conservatives 19; Liberal Democrats 8 and the Green party 2. The Greens were not previously represented on the council.

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