FOR the first time since East Devon District Council was created in 1974, the Conservatives have lost control of the council.

More Independent councillors were elected when residents went to the polls last week, with 20 taking seats to the Conservatives’ 19, followed by 11 East Devon Alliance (EDA) - a group of independent candidates - giving the Independents and the EDA a majority of 31 seats on the district council.

In Axminster, Independent East Devon Alliance candidate Sarah Jackson received the most votes with 1,001, followed by Conservative candidates Ian Hall with 818 and Andrew Moulding with 740. There was a turnout of 35 per cent and 15 papers were rejected.

There was an uncontested election at Axminster Town Council, with Jill Furrow, Douglas Hull, Sara Leat, Martin Mynard, Martin Spurway, Jeremy Walden, Anni Young, David Moore and Tony Bourner being elected but leaving six seats left to fill.

In Uplyme 11 candidates put their names forward for 10 seats, with all former parish councillors being re-elected with new candidate, Bill Trundley missing out on a seat with 219 votes. There were 29 rejected votes and a turnout of 42.87 per cent.

In Colyton, 14 people stood for 13 seats. Paul Arnott received the most votes with 721, followed by Kenneth Clifford with 589 and Andrew Parr with 586. Others elected were Crispin Denny, Joy Gardiner, John Hay, Andy Jarman, Eddie Jones, Colin Pady, Steve Real, Rodney Turner, Raymond Watts and Howard West. There was a 45.78 per cent turnout with eight rejected votes.

Those elected to the nine seats in Combpyne Rousdon were Audrey Dicks, Martin Platts, Sarah Powell, Glynis Preshaw, Clair Ronan, Linda Rose, Kevin Salter, Michael Stride, Nicholas Wright. There was a 47.63 per cent turnout and no votes were rejected.

In Dalwood, those elected were Tony Benger, Tim Hodges, Kathy Laing, Peter Lawrence, Graham Perry, Leslie White and Christine Wyatt with 57.65 per cent of people turning out to vote and just one rejected vote.

More than 47 per cent of people came out to vote in Kilmington, with Peter Ball, Michael Collier, Arnold Dare, Sally Huscroft, Mark Jones, Julia Mear, Sam Seward, Emma Style and Benjamin Trott being elected.

For more information on the number of votes each councillor received, visit