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Sawbridgeworth Town Council elections: Independents' Day as Conservatives lose seat

The Conservatives lost their position as the biggest party on Sawbridgeworth Town Council as Independent candidates won seven of the 12 seats in Thursday's local elections.

All four Tories that stood for re-election got in. Ruth Buckmaster, John Burmicz and Angela Alder – who were also elected as the East Herts district councillors for Sawbridgeworth earlier in the day – are joined by Ruth's husband, Eric, who polled most votes, 1,131 – 44 more than his wife. He is also the new district councillor for Hunsdon.

The Conservatives were one seat down after veteran Roger Beeching stood down.

For the Independents, Cllrs David Royle and Pat Coysten retained their seats, as did Cllr Don Hall, who was elected in 2015 under the UKIP banner.

Four newcomers were elected on an Independent ticket, including Dinesh ‘Don’ Patel, owner of the Tuck Shop in Bell Street. Heather Riches, who had served as deputy mayor, was not re-elected.

Cllr Annelise Furnace retained her seat for the Liberal Democrats.

Labour fielded three candidates, none of whom was elected. Previously the party had one representative on the town council, Sotirios Adamopoulos, but he unsuccessfully stood for election to the town council in Bishop's Stortford.

The turnout was just over 30 per cent.

The count for the town council election took place at Wodson Park Sports Centre in Ware during the day on Friday.

The new make-up of the town council is: Independent 7, Conservative 4, Liberal Democrat 1. Previously it was Con 5, Ind 3, UKIP 2, Lab 1, Lib Dem 1.


  1. Eric Buckmaster (Con) 1,131
  2. Ruth Buckmaster (Con) 1,087
  3. David Royle (Ind) 935
  4. John Burmicz (Con) 910
  5. Angela Alder (Con) 840
  6. Dinesh Patel (Ind) 833
  7. Patricia Coysten (Ind) 830
  8. Annelise Berendt Furnace (Lib Dem) 811
  9. Spencer Richards (Ind) 652
  10. Don Hall (Ind) 643
  11. Peter Gray (Ind) 636
  12. Steven Jones (Ind) 602
  13. Gregory Rattey (Ind) 591
  14. Agnes Riches (Ind) 580
  15. Craig Chester (Ind) 481
  16. Natalie Russell (Lab) 262
  17. Andrew Cowley (Lab) 261
  18. Elif Toker-Turnalar (Lab) 235

Turnout: 30.49%

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