The Count!

The count has now finished and I didn’t get in this time round. I’m obviously disappointed, but didn’t do that badly considering I was coming from nowhere. I’ll be back in May. I’d like to thank my wife, Alison Verney, for being so supportive and understanding over the past few weeks.

Thanks very much to all those who voted for me. The turnout, at 21%, was very good for a town council by-election – with 320 postal votes and 516 ballot box votes. (At the last by-election in South Molton, in August 2011, only 9% of the electorate voted.)

There was high drama at the count which went like this:

CORNELIUS, Marc Peter Independent 228
FOSTER, Jean Helen Liberal Democrat 266
HERNIMAN, Ronald Francis 76
LEWIS, Tracey Maria Independent 264
Spoilt Papers 2

A recount was requested for the Lewis and Foster votes, with the following result:
FOSTER, Jean Helen Liberal Democrat 265
LEWIS, Tracey Maria Independent 265

Second recount:
FOSTER, Jean Helen Liberal Democrat 265
LEWIS, Tracey Maria Independent 265

The returning officer then put two ballot papers in a box, one for Jean Foster and one for Tracey Lewis, and pulled one out.

The winner was then declared – Tracey Lewis.

Commiserations to Jean Foster (and Ron Herniman) and congratulations to Tracey Lewis.

It’s a shame that the eventual winner is the only candidate who doesn’t live in South Molton. She lives in Romansleigh and therefore doesn’t pay the South Molton council tax.

The Band D council tax for 2014/15 in Romansleigh is £1,588.38. In South Molton it’s £1,644.19 – £55.81 a year more.

There are now two people on the town council who don’t live in South Molton but who will participate in the decision making process that a) spends the town’s money and b) authorises the amount of council tax that the town council levies.