DESPITE a surprise win and a few upsets here and there, business was as usual for the Richmondshire District in North Yorkshire with the Conservatives taking home the majority of wins today.

There was a lot of nerves and pacing in the counting room as many councillors were itching to find out whether they would be elected to bring their division into the new single authority for North Yorkshire.

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Voting turn-out was fairly poor, however, with an overall turn-out of just 34.24% for the Richmondshire District - something that North Yorkshire independent candidate Stuart Parsons said was “disappointing”

However, that didn’t stop Mr Parsons win later in the day when he managed to hold off Conservative and Liberal Democrat competition.

The Northern Echo: Stuart Parsons during his victory speech Picture: STUART BOLTONStuart Parsons during his victory speech Picture: STUART BOLTON

Accepting his win Mr Parsons congratulated the Liberal Democrats for fighting “a fairly hard campaign”, continuing to stress that the party had issued “something like 19,000 individual leaflets – a lot.”

He continued: “So it’s a huge relief and now I can actually go home and sleep for the first time in two days.”

Another defeat for the Conservatives took the form of a Green Party win after Kevin Foster edged ahead of the competition and took home the majority of votes.

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The Northern Echo: Kevin Foster during his victory speech Picture: Stuart BoltonKevin Foster during his victory speech Picture: Stuart Bolton

After some exclamations of joy from the candidate, he thanked his opposition for a “clean” campaign and signed off a rather emotional speech with “let’s get the green rolling again.”

However, for the rest of the district, Conservatives handily won every other seat and most importantly in Catterick Village and Brompton-on-Swale where Carl Les once again secured a victory.

The Northern Echo: Carl Les during his victory speech Picture: CONNOR LARMANCarl Les during his victory speech Picture: CONNOR LARMAN

In his victory speech Mr Les thanked the people of Catterick Village and Brompton-on-Swale for “putting their faith in me one more time.”

He added: “Now we move into the exciting journey of the new unitary authority and I can assure you that I will not let you down.”

We spoke to Mr Les before his win this morning in which he said he wishes his authority could do more to tackle the region’s cost of living crisis.

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He said: “I hope that people will be judging us on our record because I think that the county council for the last five years has had a very good track record of delivering high quality services, facing a lot of big challenges not least of which was Covid.

“But we’ve tackled those challenges while still being a low taxing authority as well, and that’s our contribution to the cost of living crisis at the moment, I wish we could do more.”

Conservative candidate Angus Thompson went on to secure a win for North Richmond and Conservative candidate Karin Sedgwick followed with her win in Leyburn and Middleham.

Later in the day Yvonne Peacock, Conservative candidate for the Upper Dales division achieved victory over her Green Party and Liberal Democrat competition, and Tom Jones conservative candidate for Scotton and Lower Wensleydale won by a fairly healthy margin.

The Northern Echo: Yvonne Peacock during her victory speech Picture: Stuart BoltonYvonne Peacock during her victory speech Picture: Stuart Bolton

All in all an unsurprising victory for the conservatives something that Independent Stuart Parsons said would “require and earthquake” to upset.

The Northern Echo: Tom Jones during his victory speech Picture: STUART BOLTONTom Jones during his victory speech Picture: STUART BOLTON

Speaking to Kevin Foster, the only Green Party candidate to win today in Richmondshire after his win, he said he was “really happy with the win today.”

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He added: “It just shows that hard work does pay off, me and my team have worked tirelessly to get the message out that we want good local services for our residents.

“Although Hipswell residents don’t know me, I assure them they will be looked after as well.

“The message is, if you work hard for what you want and you believe in it then you can do it.”


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