THE newest member of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council says he wants to ‘stir things up’ on the authority.

Stewart Pearson won the Melcombe Regis seat for Labour following a poorly supported by-election.

Just over a fifth of the electorate turned out to vote in the election, which was called following the death of the late Peter Farrell.

From an electorate of 4,932 just 1,058 people took part. The win is a Labour gain in a seat previously held by the Conservatives and dominated in the past by the Liberal Democrats.

Labour’s victory in Melcombe Regis follows the county council elections at the beginning of May when the party won five seats across Weymouth and Portland.

Melcombe Regis covers Weymouth town centre, Park District and parts of Lodmoor and Greenhill.

Mr Pearson beat Andy Manvell for the Conservatives by just 21 votes.

He said: “I’m very pleased to have won, although I must admit I didn’t expect it.

“The people of Melcombe Regis deserve someone who will try and stir things up at the council. I’ve got a few ideas to get the town lifted a little bit.

“When I moved down from Manchester in 1986 I found Weymouth to be a brilliant town but I feel in the last ten years or so it’s taken a dive and I don’t like to see that.”

He added: “The roundabouts were replaced with traffic lights which I’m not sure has helped and we had the big non-event last year, the Olympics.”

Mr Pearson, 64, is married with two children and works as a passenger support officer for Dorset County Council.

Mr Pearson, who previously served on the borough council from 1996 to 2000, admitted he was disappointed with the turnout in the by-election.

He said: “It came a couple of weeks after the county elections which may have had something to with it.

“At least the weather can’t be blamed because it was very nice on Thursday.

“I did feel there was a lot of apathy.”

Mr Pearson said he wanted to investigate a few local issues such as gull-proof bags not being used properly and neighbourhood drug problems.

Labour have increased their number on the borough council but the Conservatives remain the party with the highest number of councillors.

The results:

Stewart Pearson (Labour) 279 votes

Andy Manvell (Conservative) 258 votes

Jim Williamson (Independent) 204 votes

Steph Taylor (Liberal Democrat) 170 votes

Jon Orrell (Green) 143 votes

Turnout 21.24 per cent