THE Green Party has another councillor on Dorset Council following a by-election in west Dorset which saw a seat taken from the Conservatives.

The people of Lyme Regis and Charmouth have cast their votes and the results are in following the by-election yesterday.

Belinda Bawden from the Green Party has been elected as the new Dorset Council councillor for the ward. The by-election was called after the resignation of Conservative Daryl Turner who since the creation of Dorset Council in 2019 had served as the first Dorset Council Councillor for Lyme Regis.

Four candidates stood in the by-election including Belinda Bawden for the Green Party, David Hart for the Labour party, Cheryl Reynolds as an independent candidate, and Vicci Stocqueler for the Conservative Party.

The former Conservative councillor for the ward Mr Turner endorsed the new Green Party councillor to take over his seat.

A total of 1,357 votes were cast in the election, two ballot papers were rejected, and the turnout was just under 33 per cent.

Jonathan Mair, Dorset Council’s Director of Legal and Democratic declared the result and confirmed that the number of votes cast for each candidate were:

  • Belinda Bawden (Green) – 594 votes
  • David Hart (Labour) – 82 votes
  • Cheryl Reynolds, (Independent) – 320 votes
  • Vicci Stocqueler (Conservative) – 359 votes

As well as representing their own ward, councillors provide community leadership across the county and are responsible for services that include social care, children’s services, libraries, travel and transport, street cleaning, highways, country parks, waste collection, housing and planning, with a total budget of just over £331 million.

The current political composition of the Dorset Council is: Conservative 43; Liberal Democrat 28; Alliance for Local Living (Independents) 5; Green 5; and Labour and Co-operative 1.

When campaigning for the ward, Belinda Bawden said: "I've lived in Lyme Regis for nearly thirty years and raised my family here. I got involved in politics because, as a geographer and with a background in international transport, marketing and education, I had become increasingly concerned about the lack of political action on the climate and ecological crisis and could see there are many positive things we can do on a local level to help improve our resilience to future changes."