LOCAL government elections saw Tory leader Nigel Reed lose his seat but the party strengthen its position as the biggest group on Weymouth and Portland council.

Mr Reed, who was soundly beaten in Weymouth East by Liberal Democrat John Birtwistle said: "We fought a good campaign and we tried to get our message across, but the Pavilion was an issue. Overall we are happy to have 16 councillors now, the largest party for a number of years."

Mr Birtwistle said: "I think I have been very fortunate that people have supported me and I am proud to have won."

Other shocks saw Labour leader Kate Wheller beaten in Westham West by Liberal Democrat Gill Taylor who said: "It was third time lucky for me and I am absolutely delighted to have won, over the moon. It is down to the people who encouraged me to have another go and the people who voted for me."

Results left the Conservatives as the largest party with 16 seats followed by the Liberal Democrats with 12 and Labour and the Independents with four each.

Tory gains included a seat in Melcombe Regis where new councillor Grant Leighton said: "It has been a whirlwind eight weeks for me and it was nice to see a fair few young people out voting."

Amanda Alsop also took Tophill West from the Independents and said: "I thought it would be fairly even so I am delighted to have won, most definitely."

Another Tory gain , this time from Labour, came in Weymouth West where Sonia Cash said: "I am still shocked, but I am very pleased to have won. It will take to the weekend to sink in."

David Mannings polled the most votes on the night - 1,201 - in holding Preston for the Liberal Democrats and he said: "It was a close fought contest and I am very pleased to have won."

Elsewhere the biggest margin of victory came when Tory Doug Hollings held his Wyke Regis seat with a 447 majority.

He said: "I am really pleased with the great support I have received. It is going to be exciting over the next few years with some important projects such as the Pavilion to resolve."

But there was no easy ride on Portland where Independent Tim Munro retained his Underhill seat by just 32 votes - the narrowest margin of the night - from fellow Independent Richard Denton-White.

Mr Munro said: "I am very pleased to have got home. It was very close."

David Harris for the Liberal Democrats said: "It has been a sweet and sour night for us because we beat both the Tory and Labour leaders but we lost the seat which had been held by the late Lynne Herbert. Overall we are pleased at our performance."

Not so Labour whose spokesman Anne Kenwood said: "We are sorry to have lost Kate Wheller after all her hard work and overall we are disappointed that we didn't win more seats."

The elections saw just under 40 per cent of people vote, slightly up on 2007.



Simon Jonathan Bowkett (Lab)..383
Ronald Ross Peattie (Con)..276
Majority: 107
Turnout: 25.1%

Melcombe Regis.

Peter Michael Farrell (Lib Dem)..625
Grant Michael Leighton (Con).605
Derek Model (Con)..503
John Michael Liles (Lib Dem)..494
Maria Anne Blackwood (Lab)..184
Paul John McIntosh (Green Party)..154
Justine Emma Marriott (Lab)..137
Turnout: 55.61%


David George Mannings (Lib Dem)..1,201
Dominic James Lonsdale (Con)1,157
Maureen Audrey Drake (Lab)..116
Majority: 44
Turnout: 57.53%


Ian Roebuck (Lib Dem).704
Ralph Anthony Johnson (Con)..407
Matt Pitman (Lab).187
Majority: 297
Turnout: 42.71%

Tophill West.

Amanda Michelle Alsop (Con)..518
Gareth Duncan (Ind).332
Jo Atwell (Lab).214
Majority: 186
Turnout: 26.89%


Tim Munro (Ind)..354
Richard David Denton-White (Ind).322
Sandy West (Lab)..157
Margaret Caroline Gadd (Con)..84
Majority: 32
Turnout: 33.93%

Westham East.

Howard Richard Legg (Lib Dem)334
Liisa Kirsten Wallace (Con)218
Stewart Barrie Pearson (Lab)172
Majority: 116
Turnout: 25.68%

Westham North.

Graham Stanley Ernest Winter (Lib Dem)750
David Jonathon Wallace (Con)..354
Lindsay Mary Drage (Lab).319
Majority: 346
Turnout: 34.12%

Westham West.

Gill Taylor (Lib Dem).530
Kate Wheller (Lab).351
Margaret Joyce Alsop (Con).....321
Majority: 179
urnout: 41.28%

Weymouth East.

John Birtwistle (Lib Dem)..694
Nigel Reed (Con)489
Richard John Baker (Lab)...121
Majority: 205
Turnout 45.72%

Weymouth West.

Sonia Ellen Cash (Con)..856
Andy Blackwood (Lab)...705
Majority: 151
Turnout: 38.74%

Wyke Regis.

Doug Hollings (Con).1,036
Colin John Huckle (Lab)...589
Majority: 447
Turnout: 37.49%