‘Three pubs’ Aigars - landlord of the Angel, Kings Head and Three Tuns in Wisbech- secures decisive victory in town council by election

Aigars Balsevics, Wisbech Cllr for Hill and Staithe. Picture: Steve Williams.

Aigars Balsevics, Wisbech Cllr for Hill and Staithe. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Conservative Aigars Balsevics won the Staithe Ward by-election for Wisbech Town Council in yesterday’s poll with more votes than both his rivals put together.

It was a particularly poignant win for Mr Balsevics who was defeated in the Waterlees ward for Fenland Council in the May elections.

In Staithe he gained 240 votes, with Labour’s Reg Mee narrowly beating UKIP’s Caroline Smith. They polled 114 and 111 votes respectively.

The turn-out was 23.61 per cent for the by-election caused by the resignation of Irina Kumalane.

In election leaflets Mr Balsevics explained how he moved to England 10 years ago to start a new life.

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He can speak four languages including fluent English and is acknowledged as being a leading figure in helping Eastern Europeans integrate into the town.

Mr Balsevics is a publican and runs the Three Tuns, the King’s Head and The Angel. He told electors of his support for local youth football and of how he has helped teach skills to young people in the summer.

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He was an original volunteer at the Wisbech Credit Union.

He said he has a “can do” attitude, gets on well with people and wants to play his part in making the town “a safer, more united, friendlier and more prosperous for everyone”.

The by election has been marred by mud slinging and personal attacks with the Conservatives threatening to report UKIP to the Electoral Commission and police over a leaflet it distributed the day before the poll.

The Tories in turn launched their own personal attack on Labour’s Mr Mee, who was the only one out of the three candidates to stick to the point and fight for the seat on issues like speeding.

The by-election has cost Fenland Council Taxpayers around £7,000, which works out at just over £15 per vote cast.

It means local voters have now paid out around £21,000 in by-election costs since the local elections in May.

There was a by-election on Whittlesey Town Council the previous week caused by an administrative error where Councillor Martin Curtis failed to sign his declaration forms. He won that by-election.

The third election was to find a new county councillor for Wisbech South when former UKIP representative Peter Lagoda’s resignation in April came too late to be held with the local elections in May.

His seat was won by Samantha Hoy, who saw the Conservative share of the vote double in June’s by-election.

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