Conservatives have gained one council seat and held another following by-elections on Portland.

Katharine Garcia and Kerry Baker were voted in to serve on Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

Kerry Baker won in Tophill West – holding the Tory seat formerly occupied by her partner Jason Webb – and Katharine Garcia secured the party another seat for Tophill East.

The by-elections were called after the resignation of independent councillor David Hawkins (Tophill East) and Conservative councillor Jason Webb (Tophill West), both due to ill health.

Standing for Tophill West was Conservative candidate Kerry Baker, Labour’s Giovanna Lewis and Carole Timmons, Green Party.

Mrs Baker won with 511 votes compared to 356 for Labour and 82 for the Green Party. The turnout was 24.43 per cent.

Mrs Baker said: “I’m proud to have been elected and will be your strong voice on the council.

“Residents want to see less crime, more investment and a world-class school for our children to fulfil their potential.”

In Tophill East fellow Conservative Katharine Garcia was victorious with just eight more votes than her Labour rival Becky Blake. Also standing was Sara Harpley for the Green Party.

The results were 362 Conservative, 354 Labour and 56 Green Party. The turnout was 29.28 per cent.

Mrs Garcia, who was also elected as Tophill’s county councillor in May 2017, said: “I’ve lived in Dorset all of my life.

“I came to Portland along with my partner Chris as were attracted by the island’s beauty and the islanders’ community spirit.

“But, we need more investment, so our island gets the local jobs it needs to thrive for generations.

Despite gaining a seat, a spokesman from the borough council said although the Conservatives are the biggest party, there is still no party with overall control.

Cllr Ray Nowak said it was brilliant to see six female candidates standing.

Before the election he said: “I think it’s fantastic that we have six local women of Tophill putting themselves forward in politics. And at a point when we are all here discussing the suffragettes, I think it’s great to look at what women on Portland are doing. Whatever the outcome we know we will have two newly-elected women.”

The newly-elected pair have pledged to work together, tackling crime and anti-social behaviour by holding regular meetings with police to raise residents’ concerns, as well as working to secure business investment to boost jobs and the local economy.

Affordable housing is another priority, supporting Portland’s Community Land Trust and the Neighbourhood Plan and problems such as fly tipping and dog mess will also be addressed.

Conservative leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Jeff Cant, said: “I am obviously delighted with Kerry and Katharine’s successes and their drive and enthusiasm to work hard for their residents will soon become evident.”