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Lib Dems hold ward with Ben

By This is Kent  |  Posted: October 15, 2010

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The Lib Dems held on to a borough council seat in the St James' ward, Tunbridge Wells, after winning a by-election.

Ben Chapelard, 33, won 62 per cent of the vote and replaced former Lib Dem councillor Mary Lewis, who stepped down due to ill health.

The turnout last Thursday was 27 per cent with 1,048 votes.

The Lib Dems won 649, Conservatives 294, while the Green Party received 103.

St James' ward remains one of a few Lib Dem pockets in Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. Apart from four other seats, including St John's and Broadwater, every ward is Conservative.

Councillor David Neve, St James's other Lib Dem representative, and a councillor for the area for the past 14 years, said: "It's an area where we have a big presence. We really get involved with the local people and this is reflected in the vote."

Councillor Chapelard said he felt "immensely proud" to represent the people of St James.

He said: "I will represent their views at all times. As councillor for our ward I promise that my motivations are to serve to the best of my ability in the area where my family and I live. I will represent the views and opinions of all residents whether they voted or not.

He added: "I could not have done this with out the support of my family, helpers and residents and also David Neve."

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    Alan Bullion, High Brooms  |  October 15 2010, 2:07PM

    An excellent result all round. Well done Ben and the team.