In­de­pen­dents win land­slide at by-elec­tions

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRITTON

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.

James Ni­cholas

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