Conservative celebrations under way with party set to claim seats of Lib Dem and independent councillors on Fenland Council

Cllr Ralph Butcher.

Cllr Ralph Butcher. - Credit: Archant

Jubilant Tories are celebrating today after claiming the scalps of independent, Lib Dems and the sole UKIP councillor on Fenland District Council.

In a voting pattern that even top officials admit is a surprise to them, it is looking increasingly like most of Fenland will turn solidly blue by tonight.

UKIP’s David Patrick has already lost his Wisbech seat, Lib Dem councillor Gavin Booth looks increasingly unlikely to hold his Parson Drove and Wisbech St Mary seat and the occupancy of the March North seat held by independent councillor Peter tunley also looks to have gone back to the Conservatives.

Independent March North candidate Jeanette Shermer told me “it wasn’t looking good at all” for anybody other than Conservatives in Fen. She believes people who voted in the General Election for Steve Barclay have simply transferred that to the council poll.

Michelle Tanfield, who failed to win her parliamentary seat in Manchester for the Conservatives in early hours of today, looks to have retained Elm and Christchurch seat along with fellow cabinet member Will Sutton, beating off challenges from Green and UKIP.

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Bassenhally, in Whittlesey, will be represented by Conservatives Kay Mayor and Chris Boden, who beat off competition from Lib Dem candidate David Chapman and Colin Gale, who stood for Labour.

Cllr Mayor said: “Thanks to the officers for their hard work over last twp days and thanks to everyone who voted for me.”

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Cllr Boden, who has also won the Whittlesey North by-election for Cambridgeshire County Council, described himself as the ward’s “junior councillor”.

He said: “I am very much looking forward to working with Fenland District Council and extremely pleased (to have been elected).”

Two more Conservatives to retain their seats are Ralph Butcher and Alex Miscandlon, for Benwick, Coates and Eastrea.

Cllr Butcher said: “I’m overwhelmed. It’s my fourth consecutive election as a district councillor.

“I promise that I will do the best I can for the residents, the same as I have for the past 12 years.”

Cllr Miscandlon added: “I stood here replacing here replacing a very good lady (Pam Potts) four years ago and I made her the promise I would do her my best.

“Being voted a second time and suggests to me I have done that. Let’s get started and do some more work.”

The two Octavia Hill ward seats, in Wisbech, are also under Tory control with victory for Samantha Hoy and Simon King.

Cllr Hoy said: “Thanks everybody for last night and today. I know it’s been hard. Thanks to my family and friends for all their help through my campaign.

“I will do my best to represent voters of Octavia Hill.”

The Tories have also won back the Manea ward, which had been held by independent Mark Archer from 2007 until he was disqualified by the council in November 2014.

New Manea councillor Mark Buckton said: “I would just like to thank the voters for putting their trust in me. I will work hard for them over the next four years.

“Thanks also to my wife and daughter for the support they have given me during the campaign.”

• Keep up to date with all the results – as they are announced. Click here

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