Coalition for East Devon? Local election results 2023 are announced

Once again little separates the parties and groups in East Devon in this year’s local elections, writes local democracy reporter Rob Kershaw.

The Independents edged out the Liberal Democrats by 19 seats to 18, but this is a notable improvement for the Lib Dems who managed only seven in 2019.

The Conservatives were only just behind on 17, but lost their leader Philip Skinner who was displaced by Liberal Democrat Richard Jeffries.

Speaking on his 24 years as a Councillor, Mr Skinner said: “I’ve worked passionately for East Devon. It’s been in my heart for 24 years to be honest with you and I’m deeply upset really.

“However, I’m leader of the Conservative Group here and I’ve got to see my other colleagues over the line. And hopefully we can still win power in the elections.”

Former Independent Paul Arnott held onto his seat in Coly Valley having joined the Liberal Democrats ahead of this year’s vote.

In an improved showing, Labour took three seats, with Violet Bonetta becoming the youngest-ever councillor in East Devon at just 18.

The Greens kept hold of two seats, while the Liberal Party – not to be confused with the Lib Dems – claimed one of its own.

Cllr Bonetta, whose brother Jake sat on East Devon’s council in the previous term, wants to encourage more young people into politics.

“This is the first election I’ve been involved in, let alone run for an election, so I would encourage anyone thinking about running as a councillor to go for it,” she said.

Cllr Arnott, meanwhile, indicated that he will lead the council as part of a coalition between his Liberal Democrat Party, some Independents, the Greens and the Labour Group.

“There may be some other Independents we haven’t talked to yet who might want to come in,” he added.

“Maybe even some other political party, I simply don’t know at this stage – it’s too early to say. But yes, we will be the largest political group as a democratic alliance, Lib Dems standing proudly as a majority of it.”

The East Devon votes were counted at the Westpoint Conference Centre, Clyst St Mary.

Following Thursday’s local government elections, 60 District Council seats in 30 wards across East Devon were declared today (Friday May 5) when votes were counted.
The results are as follows:

Axminster (3 seats)Number of votes
Ian HallConservative Party Candidate801
Paul HaywardIndependent1219 ELECTED
Steve HoltConservative Party Candidate544
Sarah JacksonIndependent1065 ELECTED
Gillian JordanLiberal Democrats531
Simon SmithIndependent893 ELECTED
Jeremy WaldenThe Labour Party395
David WilleyConservative Party Candidate420

Electorate: 6352

Ballot Papers Issued: 2208

Rejected Ballot Papers: 6

Turnout 34.7 %

Beer and Branscombe (1 seat)Number of votes
Peter BurrowsLiberal Democrats156
Maria HallConservative Party Candidate170
John HeathIndependent431 ELECTED

Electorate: 2108

Ballot Papers Issued: 763

Rejected Ballot Papers: 6

Turnout 36%

Broadclyst (3 seats)Number of votes
Keith BickersConservative Party Candidate430
Sarah ChamberlainLiberal Democrats711 ELECTED
Jane ChanotIndependent482
Paula FernleyGreen Party Candidate700 ELECTED
Katie JonesLiberal Democrats661
Eleanor RylanceLiberal Democrats689 ELECTED
Colin TrudgeonConservative Party Candidate474

Electorate: 5848

Ballot Papers Issued: 1679

Rejected Ballot Papers: 3

Turnout 28.7%

Budleigh & Raleigh Ward (3 seats)Number of votes
Catriona CunninghamLiberal Democrats882
Jed FalbyLiberal Democrats878
Charlotte FitzgeraldIndependent1174 ELECTED
Patsy HaymanConservative Party Candidate1046
Penny LewisLiberal Democrats865
Melanie MartinIndependent1076 ELECTED
Henry RiddellConservative Party Candidate1086 ELECTED
David WalshConservative Party Candidate848

Electorate: 6491

Ballot Papers Issued: 2881

Rejected Ballot Papers: 9

Turnout 44.3%

Clyst Valley (1 seat)Number of votes
Will FrenchConservative Party Candidate182
Mike HoweIndependent361 ELECTED
Adrian LockLiberal Democrats134

Electorate: 1896

Ballot Papers Issued: 680

Rejected Ballot Papers: 3

Turnout 35.9%

Coly Valley (2 seats)Number of votes
Paul ArnottLiberal Democrats959  ELECTED
Helen ParrConservative Party Candidate845 ELECTED
John TristramConservative Party Candidate567

Electorate: 3924

Ballot Papers Issued:1669

Rejected Ballot Papers: 17

Turnout 42.5%

Cranbrook (3 seats)Number of votes
Kevin BlakeyIndependent521 ELECTED
Kim BloxhamIndependent614 ELECTED
Alexandra CroftConservative Party Candidate123
Lisa GoudieHeritage Party57
Sam HawkinsIndependent458 ELECTED
Rebecca LipscombeLiberal Democrats246
Barry RogersConservative Party Candidate137
Vincent WiltonIndependent424

Electorate: 4717

Ballot Papers Issued: 1020

Rejected Ballot Papers: 4

Turnout 21.6%

Dunkeswell & Otterhead (2 seats)Number of votes
Colin BrownConservative Party Candidate741 ELECTED
Gary BurfordIndependent370
Yehuda LevineLiberal Democrats758 ELECTED
Ian MorganConservative Party Candidate109
Ollie TuckerLabour and Co-operative Party322

Electorate: 4499

Ballot Papers Issued: 1643

Rejected Ballot Papers: 10

Turnout 36.5%

Exe Valley (1 seat)Number of votes
Jamie KempLiberal Democrats475 ELECTED
Kevin WraightConservative Party Candidate199

Electorate: 1912

Ballot Papers Issued: 678

Rejected Ballot Papers: 4

Turnout 35.5%

Exmouth Brixington (3 seats)Number of votes
Aurora BaileyIndependent518
Fred CaygillConservative Party Candidate673 ELECTED
Maddy ChapmanConservative Party Candidate734 ELECTED
Andrew ColmanLiberal Democrats579
Ian KirvanIndependent471
Malcolm MarrettGreen Party Candidate434
Cherry NicholasConservative Party Candidate662 ELECTED
Jamie WickendenLabour Party559

Electorate: 6143

Ballot Papers Issued: 1743

Rejected Ballot Papers: 3

Turnout 28.4%

Exmouth Halsdon (3 seats)Number of votes
Tim DumperLiberal Democrats1099 ELECTED
Richard ParrConservative Party Candidate638
Pauline StottConservative Party Candidate820
Andrew ToyeLiberal Democrats964 ELECTED
Daniel WilsonLabour Party839 ELECTED

Electorate: 5963

Ballot Papers Issued: 1979

Rejected Ballot Papers: 22

Turnout 33.2 %

Exmouth Littleham (3 seats)Number of votes
Brian BaileyConservative Party Candidate986 ELECTED
Anne HallLiberal Democrats1144 ELECTED
Nick HookwayLiberal Democrats1075 ELECTED
Oliver KerrConservative Party Candidate952
David PoorLiberal Democrats834
Mike RosserGreen Party Candidate784

Electorate: 6735

Ballot Papers Issued: 2325

Rejected Ballot Papers: 11

Turnout 34.5%

Exmouth Town (3 seats)Number of votes
Olly DaveyGreen Party Candidate988 ELECTED
Dominic NancekievillConservative Party Candidate338
Joe WhibleyIndependent1043 ELECTED
Sylvia WillsConservative Party Candidate331
Eileen WraggLiberal Democrats974 ELECTED

Electorate: 5681

Ballot Papers Issued: 1582

Rejected Ballot Papers: 9

Turnout 27.8%

Exmouth Withycombe Raleigh (2 seats)Number of votes
Josh DonaldConservative Party Candidate242
Steve GazzardLiberal Democrats521 ELECTED
Matt HallLiberal Democrats432 ELECTED
Brian RichardsConservative Party Candidate218
Andrew Woodward Labour Party236

Electorate: 3582

Ballot Papers Issued: 898

Rejected Ballot Papers: 8

Turnout 25.1%

Feniton (1 seat)Number of votes
Alasdair BruceConservative Party Candidate359 ELECTED
Jane CollinsGreen Party Candidate351

Electorate: 2256

Ballot Papers Issued: 717

Rejected Ballot Papers: 7

Turnout 31.7%

Honiton St Michael`s (3 seats)Number of votes       
Violet BonettaThe Labour Party598 ELECTED
Jenny BrownConservative Party Candidate708 ELECTED
Paul CarterConservative Party Candidate508
Roy CollinsThe Liberal Party534 ELECTED
Brice CorneliusConservative Party Candidate531
Joanne FotheringhamIndependent477
Nicholas InghamIndependent419

Electorate: 5558

Ballot Papers Issued: 1487

Rejected Ballot Papers: 10

Turnout 26.7%

Honiton St Paul`s (2 seats)Number of votes
Tony McCollumIndependent642 ELECTED
John Diviani-O’LearyConservative Party Candidate460 ELECTED
Andrew PearsallConservative Party Candidate454
John Taylor329

Electorate: 3825

Ballot Papers Issued: 1118

Rejected Ballot Papers: 22

Turnout 29.2%

Newbridges (1 seat)Number of votes
Iain ChubbConservative Party Candidate423 ELECTED
Clara DouglasLabour and Co-operative Party93
Veronica DowerLiberal Democrats335

Electorate: 2082

Ballot Papers Issued: 855

Rejected Ballot Papers: 4

Turnout 41%

Newton Poppleford and Harpford (1 seat)Number of votes
Christopher BurhopIndependent633 ELECTED
Josh HarrisonConservative Party Candidate138

Electorate: 1815

Ballot Papers Issued: 775

Rejected Ballot Papers: 4

Turnout 42.7%

Ottery St Mary (3 seats)Number of votes
Jamie AylwardLiberal Democrats771
Bethany CollinsLabour Party794 ELECTED
Peter FaithfullIndependent944 ELECTED
Charlie HobsonConservative Party Candidate429
Mohammed Sarul IslamConservative Party Candidate192
Mohammed Zayan IslamConservative Party Candidate153
Vicky JohnsIndependent1565 ELECTED
Graham WoolnoughLiberal Democrats556

Electorate: 6148

Ballot Papers Issued: 2214

Rejected Ballot Papers: 2

Turnout 36%

Seaton (3 seats)Number of votes
Honey Barlow MarshallLabour and Co-operative Party494
Del HaggertyConservative Party Candidate858 ELECTED
Marcus HartnellConservative Party Candidate1167 ELECTED
Steve HuntLiberal Democrats770
Dan LedgerIndependent1404 ELECTED

Electorate: 5908

Ballot Papers Issued: 2150

Rejected Ballot Papers: 12

Turnout 36.3%

Sidmouth Rural (1 seat)Number of votes
John LoudounIndependent586 ELECTED
Christina RichardsConservative Party Candidate217

Electorate: 1905

Ballot Papers Issued: 805

Rejected Ballot Papers: 2

Turnout 42.3%

Sidmouth Sidford (3 seats)Number of votes
Lisa GarnerLiberal Democrats1119
Mike GoodmanConservative Party Candidate1191 ELECTED
Stuart HughesConservative Party Candidate1216 ELECTED
Marianne RixsonLiberal Democrats1256 ELECTED

Electorate: 6378

Ballot Papers Issued: 2392

Rejected Ballot Papers: 22

Turnout 37.5%

Sidmouth Town (2 seats)Number of votes
Ian BarlowIndependent994 ELECTED
Denise BickleyIndependent785
Sophie RichardsConservative Party Candidate811 ELECTED
John ZarczynskiConservative Party Candidate406

Electorate: 3809

Ballot Papers Issued: 1649

Rejected Ballot Papers: 8

Turnout 43.3%

Tale Vale (1 seat)Number of votes
Richard JefferiesLiberal Democrats 627 ELECTED
Philip SkinnerConservative Party Candidate421

Electorate: 2174

Ballot Papers Issued: 1050

Rejected Ballot Papers: 2

Turnout 48.3%

Trinity (1 seat)Number of votes
Andy TurnerConservative Party Candidate441
Susan WestermanLiberal Democrats512 ELECTED

Electorate: 2187

Ballot Papers Issued: 956

Rejected Ballot Papers: 3

Turnout 43.8%

West Hill and Aylesbeare (1 seat)Number of votes
Jess BaileyIndependent897 ELECTED
Iain FairbairnLiberal Democrats54
Alan RichardsonConservative Party Candidate184

Electorate: 2211

Ballot Papers Issued: 1136

Rejected Ballot Papers: 1

Turnout 51.4%

Whimple and Rockbeare (1 seat)Number of votes
Richard LawrenceConservative Party Candidate422
Todd OliveLiberal Democrats440 ELECTED

Electorate: 2189

Ballot Papers Issued: 875

Rejected Ballot Papers: 13

Turnout 40%

Woodbury and Lympstone (2 seats)Number of votes
Amanda FordLabour Party286
Ben InghamConservative Party Candidate724 ELECTED
Geoff JungLiberal Democrats929 ELECTED
Cheryl McGauleyConservative Party Candidate622
Alex TaylorGreen Party Candidate556

Electorate: 4221

Ballot Papers Issued: 1731

Rejected Ballot Papers: 7

Turnout 41%

Yarty (1 seat)Number of votes
Duncan MackinderLiberal Democrats442 ELECTED
Richard NormanConservative Party Candidate328
Duncan StaddonGreen Party Candidate75

Electorate: 2137

Ballot Papers Issued: 855

Rejected Ballot Papers: 10

Turnout 40%



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