LABOUR’s grip on Bassetlaw Council tightened as the party scored a clear victory at the Worksop North-East by-election last week.
Candidate John Anderton scooped 1,198 votes, followed by Conservative Barry Bowles who found favour with 317 voters .
Independent Geoff Coe polled 75 votes, with Liberal Democrat Mark Hunter scoring just 28.
Coun Anderton said he was “absolutely overjoyed” with his win and that he is looking forward to getting stuck into his new role.
“I think the people of Worksop North-East have sent out a clear message to those in power that we are fed up with the cuts, and I think the issues with the hospital have played a large part in their thinking,” he said.
“It wasn’t just an individual victory - it was a good team effort by all those in the Labour group and it’s work that will stand us in good stead for the future,” he said.
The by-election was called after a stormy council meeting last December, which saw the disqualification of Conservative councillor Bill Graham, who had not attended a meeting since 17th June last year on the grounds of ill health.
Labour’s win last week means the party now holds 22 seats on the council, the Tories 23 and the Independents with three - leaving the Conservatives with no overall control.
Council leader Coun Mike Quigley said the by-election result did not reflect the local picture of progress.
“By-elections are always notoriously difficult , particularly when the national government is of a different party,” he said.
“People tend to vote nationally, but they are not taking into account the many improvements to services that have taken place in Bassetlaw in the last seven years the Conservatives have been in power,” he said.