RESIDENTS took to the polls and elected a new district and county councillor.

The Conservatives won seats on both West Dorset District Council (WDDC) and Dorset County Council (DCC) following by-elections in Bridport on Thursday.

Derek Bussell took Bridport North ward on WDDC, while Mark Roberts took the Bridport Division on DCC.

The by-election was called after long-standing Lib Dem councillor Ros Kayes stepped down from her roles on both councils, leaving two vacancies to be filled.

Cllr Bussell said: “In the weeks of campaigning I had the opportunity to listen to and discuss the concerns of people in north Bridport.

“Their concerns focused on overdevelopment and the impact on local services; the provision of sufficient social and affordable housing; ensuring the town matures and develops whilst maintaining its charm and appeal and that the local NHS and elderly care provision is adequate for the increasing demand.

“Being elected provides me the opportunity to voice and champion these concerns at West Dorset District Council level."

Cllr Bussell’s career has spanned the Merchant Navy, the aerospace industry and running a business in Bridport and he says he now wants to give something back to the town in which he settled 25 years ago. He is also a Bridport Town Councillor.

Cllr Roberts, who moved to the area in 1985, says he is 'delighted' to have won and aims to ensure 'the rural voice is heard.'

"I did not get into this not to win," he said. "I'm pleased for everybody who voted as people should exercise their right to vote. Thank you to everyone who voted, no matter who you voted for."

He also thanked those who volunteered throughout the election, distributing leaflets, and on the night itself.

Cllr Roberts, who is in his fourth term on the district council, says he hopes to ensure services for the elderly and vulnerable are maintained.

West Dorset chairman Chris Loder said: “It was a resounding success for the Conservatives in Bridport thanks to the dedication and hard work of our candidates, campaigners and local volunteers. "It follows two successful by-election wins in Portland earlier this month and shows the Conservatives are winning in West Dorset.”