Independents win landslide at by-elections
IT WAS an independent whitewash at council by-elections. The by-elections were held for a borough councillor and two town councillors to represent Bollington.
Residents cast votes for five candidates for the Cheshire East seat and four in the town council election.
And it was a big night for the independents after Bollington First candidate, James Nicholas, took the borough seat and independents Anthony Harrison and Roland Edwards won the town council seats for central ward.
Mr Nicholas, who was formerly on Macclesfield Borough Council, joins his partner, Amanda Stott, as the other Bollington borough councillor.
He won more votes than his rivals put together – with 939 votes and more than half the votes.
Liberal Democrat Sam Al-Hamdani polled 198, Conservative Philip Bolton won 319 votes, Richard Purslow for the Green Party had 162, and Rob Vernon for Labour won 239. There was a turnout of 27.5 per cent. Mr Nich- olas said: “It’s my fifth election and each time there’s been a recount, but this time it was such a clear win – it’s fantastic.
“It was an independent whitewash. I think at the moment everything is changing, with Brexit and Trump, people are dissatisfied with political parties and don’t feel they’re being listened to – and they are starting to voice their discontentment.”
Mr Nicholas says his win shows the strength of feeling against Cheshire East’s decision to axe free school buses – the issue which caused councillor Jon Weston to quit in protest.
Mr Nicholas, a former TV news cameraman, is fighting the issue with partner and fellow coun- cillor Amanda Stott. She has called-in the decision to a special meeting of the full council tomorrow (Thursday, February 23).
Mr Nicholas said: “The school buses is the main issue for Bollington and we will fight it all the way.
“There are many benefits to Amanda and I working together.
“We don’t always agree, but that’s okay. In many ways we help each other. We’re fighting to keep school buses for Bollington.”
In the town council election Liberal Democrat Sam Al-Hamdani won 208 votes, Independents Roland Edwards and Anthony Harrison had 333 and 245 votes and Conservative Bernadette McKenna won 168.