The reshaping of voting wards makes outcomes more unpredictable
133 polling stations across the area opened their doors Thursday May 5 for voters to cast their votes for both the Cherwell District Council seats and those on the Banbury Town Council.
This year there has been some significant changes to the size and number of wards in the district and the allocation of the number of councillors from each ward.
The overall number of electable councillors has been reduced from 50 to 48 and the number of wards has been reduced from 28 to just 16. Also each of these wards will now be represented by three councillors.
After votes had been counted the winner of the ward will serve a four year term, the candidate with the second highest vote count will serve a three year term and the third place candidate will serve a two year term.
The reshaping of the electoral wards meant that some incumbent councillors, having won in a particular ward during the last elections, were now, geographically standing in another.
The biggest shock of the afternoon was the fourth place finish of Councilman Norman Bolster (CON), who last time around had won a seat representing Bicester West. Due to the change in its boundaries Mr Bolster was now a candidate for Bicester South and Ambrosden.
Mr Bolster was the Lead Member for Estates and the Economy and highly thought of within the Conservative party. \bicester South was won by Dan Sames (CON) closely followed by David ANderson (CON) with Independant candidate Nick Cotter finishing third, some 125 votes ahead of fourth place Mr Bolster.
Deputy leader of the Cherwell District Council, George Reynolds (CON) said of the result; “The whole district was re-warded and it saw some strange bew wards that clearly need to be worked on and it altered the voting pattern in quite a few. I think that what we noticed today in the voting was large numbers of people split the vote, some of them had UKIP ticked off with Greens and Conservatives, three parties that are so diverse.”
He added; “ We will be extremely sorry to lose Norman he is a very experienced councillor and we hope he will be able to come back in two years time.”
Other wards did not see such diverse voting and kept rigidly to the pattern of past elections.
The results in full for the three winning candidates and the fourth place non-elected candidate for Banbury and surrounding areas are:
Adderbury, Bloxham and Bodicote; Chris Heath (CON) 1321 votes, Mike Bishop (CON) 1312 votes, Nigel Randall (CON) 1294 votes. Fourth and not elected, Naomi Kanetsuka (GRN) 573 votes.
Banbury Calthorpe & Easington: Kieron Mallon (CON) 1359 votes, Colin Clarke (CON) 1332 votes, Nigel Morris (CON) 1248 votes. Fourth and not elected, Mike Beal (LAB) 786 votes.
Banbury Cross & Neithrop: Surinder Dhesi (LAB) 1247 votes, Hannah Banfield (LAB) 1188 votes, Alistair Milne Home (CON) 880 votes. Fourth and not elected Sonny Sidhu (LAB) 832 votes.
Banbury Grimsbury & Hightown: Andrew Beere (LAB) 966 votes, Claire Bell (LAB) 930 votes, Shadia Hussain (LAB) 801 votes. Fourth and not elected, Tony Mepham (CON) 740 votes.
Banbury Hardwick: John Donaldson (CON) 689 votes, Nicholas Turner (CON) 638 votes, Tony Ilott (CON) 633 votes. Fourth and not elected, Mary Evans-Young (LAB) 532 votes.
Banbury Ruscote: Mark Cherry (LAB) 1105 votes, Sean Woodcock (LAB) 924 votes, Barry Richards (LAB) 905 votes. Fourth and not elected, Stuart Robbins (CON) 500 votes.
Bicester East: Sean Gaul (CON) 1003 votes, RIchard Mould (CON) 913 votes, Tom Wallis (CON) 830 votes. Fourth and not elected, Marcus English (LAB) 728 votes.
Bicester North & Caversfield: Lynn Pratt (CON) 804, Jason Slaymaker (CON) 797 votes, Nicholas Mawer (CON) 790 votes. Fourth and not elected, Margaret Lynn (LAB) 518 votes.
Bicester South & Ambrosden: Dan Sames (CON) 889 votes, David Anderson (CON) 877 votes, Nick Cotter (IND) 818 votes. Fourth and not elected, Norman Bolster (CON) 693 votes.
Bicester West: Les Sibley (IND) 1612 votes, Debbie Pickford (CON) 662 votes, Jolanta Lis (CON) 509 votes. Fourth ad not elected, Harry Knight (IND) 495 votes.
Cropredy, Sibfords & Wroxton: George Reynolds (CON) 1623 votes, Ken Atack (CON) 1513 votes, Douglas Webb (CON) 1389 votes. Fourth and not elected, Anne Cullen (LAB) 581 votes.
Deddington: Bryn Williams (CON) 1725 votes, Hugo Brown (CON) 1573 votes, Mike Kerford-Byrnes (CON) 1469 votes. Fourth and not elected, Aaron Bliss (GRN) 684 votes.
Fringfords & Heyfords: James Macnamara (CON) 1249 votes, Ian Corkin (CON) 1220 votes, Barry Wood (CON) 1190 votes. Fourth and not elected, Jenny Tamblyn (GRN) 412 votes.