Conservatives win council by-election by 33 votes

POLL WINNER: Pauline Culley after winning the Mowden by-election. Picture: ANDY LAMB

POLL WINNER: Pauline Culley after winning the Mowden by-election. Pictured with husband Paul, left, and Cllr Charles Johnson. Picture: ANDY LAMB

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Darlington)

A HANDFUL of votes separated first and second place in a by-election to replace a popular councillor who died earlier this year.

Conservative Pauline Culley was elected to the Mowden ward of Darlington Borough Council with 647 votes, ahead of Labour's candidate, Jackie Saint, with 614.

Charlotte Bull, of the UK Independence Party, came third with 235 votes and Hilary Allen, of the Liberal Democrats, polled 93. The turnout was 51.68 per cent.

Yesterday's by-election was called following the death of long-serving Conservative councillor Ron Lewis, in January.

Following the count today, Cllr Culley said: "The people of Mowden are really friendly and have been lovely to me.

"A lot of them knew Ron and they have welcomed me."

Cllr Culley, 55, has been a Conservative for more than 20 years and wrote to Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister.

She said: "I told her I was in despair, that all my school friends were for Labour and she wrote back, telling me to keep up the good fight.

"My reason for being a Conservative is I can add up - don't spend what you don't have and try to do good things with what you do have.

"I just want to do my best for everybody and want the ward to be well looked-after, for people to have the facilities they need.

"I will be trying to get stuff sorted for them - I write a good letter."

Cllr Culley previously stood, unsuccessfully, in the Pierremont ward, in 2011.

Asked to comment on the closeness of the election, she replied: "I only needed to win by one vote and was hoping for anything above that, so I am delighted."

Labour increased its share of the vote in Mowden from 35 per cent in 2011 to 38 per cent in the by-election.

Its candidate Jackie Saint congratulated Cllr Culley, adding: "I have lived in Mowden for 27 years and knew Ron Lewis very well.

"People saw us as a team and I am very proud that has been shown in the number of votes I have got."

Hinting that she will run again in next year's local elections, she added: "I am Mowden through and through, it is where I live and where I have brought my children up.

"Every area deserves a local voice and I hope that, one day, it will be my voice that is heard."

Comments (3)

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1:56pm Fri 23 May 14

Spy Boy says...

////// "My reason for being a Conservative is I can add up - don't spend what you don't have and try to do good things with what you do have.

"I just want to do my best for everybody and want the ward to be well looked-after, for people to have the facilities they need. ///////

Surely this sort of comment could be made of anyone of any party? Very odd communication. You will probably find that the council in this town don't really measure up to any of this. The cabinet certainly don't. My reason for not being a Conservative is that I CAN add up. I know what they have cost me and the country. Locally, the case is different. We have a Labour Council that meet and exceed so much of the Tory requirements for the rich getting richer as the poorer paid are looked upon as a liability. This is not a socialist council, regardless of the colour of its rosette.
////// "My reason for being a Conservative is I can add up - don't spend what you don't have and try to do good things with what you do have. "I just want to do my best for everybody and want the ward to be well looked-after, for people to have the facilities they need. /////// Surely this sort of comment could be made of anyone of any party? Very odd communication. You will probably find that the council in this town don't really measure up to any of this. The cabinet certainly don't. My reason for not being a Conservative is that I CAN add up. I know what they have cost me and the country. Locally, the case is different. We have a Labour Council that meet and exceed so much of the Tory requirements for the rich getting richer as the poorer paid are looked upon as a liability. This is not a socialist council, regardless of the colour of its rosette. Spy Boy
  • Score: -10

7:59pm Fri 23 May 14

magicmoment says...

Very well said. labour were in government for over 10 years and we were bankrupt…..
the amount of money the darlington labour town has wasted on building products , traffic lights roundabout etc etc
the funny thin is everyone i speak to moans about this darlington council
but everyone keeps voting them in. very confused!!!
maybe the last comment was a little harsh in some places but i would say 80% of my friends and how lovely they are but they waste their money so much and waste it…….its about time this darlington council had a change and fast!!!!!!!!
Very well said. labour were in government for over 10 years and we were bankrupt….. the amount of money the darlington labour town has wasted on building products , traffic lights roundabout etc etc the funny thin is everyone i speak to moans about this darlington council but everyone keeps voting them in. very confused!!! maybe the last comment was a little harsh in some places but i would say 80% of my friends and how lovely they are but they waste their money so much and waste it…….its about time this darlington council had a change and fast!!!!!!!! magicmoment
  • Score: 9

11:14pm Fri 23 May 14

hard2handle says...

Well done Mrs Saint... you got a lot of votes because you **actually lived** on the Mowden Estate, amongst the constituents that you aspired to represented (unlike other candidates who lived elsewhere in town, but who made all the right noises when it came to making out they represented Mowden). You were VERY unlucky not to break the Conservative monopoly of council representation on Mowden, but the result will be a MAJOR wake up call to the Conservatories / Messer Senson & Co.
Well done Mrs Saint... you got a lot of votes because you **actually lived** on the Mowden Estate, amongst the constituents that you aspired to represented (unlike other candidates who lived elsewhere in town, but who made all the right noises when it came to making out they represented Mowden). You were VERY unlucky not to break the Conservative monopoly of council representation on Mowden, but the result will be a MAJOR wake up call to the Conservatories / Messer Senson & Co. hard2handle
  • Score: 7

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