A GROUP of Monmouth residents caused a stir at last week’s local elections, claiming seven out of 16 available town council positions.
The previously inexperienced politicians joined forces just six weeks prior to elections, following a drive from founding member Rachel Jupp to change the face of the council.
One shock result came with the replacement of 2016/ 17 town mayor Chris Munslow, who lost his town seat to Indy Monmouth’s Anna Antebi.
Another surprise result came at at county council level, with the election of Matt Feakins, who ousted long-standing councillor Alan Wintle and will take his seat on Monmouthshire County Council alongside fellow Welsh Conservative Jamie Treharne, who held off strong competition from Terry Christopher and Su McConnel.
The Conservatives held onto Wyesham at county level with Usk’s Laura Jones just beating Labour’s Catherine Fookes to the hot-seat by 24 votes.
Richard Roden took the Dixton with Osbaston seat for the Conservatives – left vacant by councillor Bob Hayward who is retiring from political life - with a thumping 246 lead over Liberal Democrat Anthea Dewhurst.
Out of the seven Indy Monmouth candidates elected to Monmouth Town Council, some may be disappointed that figurehead Rachel Jupp failed to gain a seat in the Wyesham ward. Her father, Charles Boase also didn’t poll enough votes to take a seat in Overmonnow, a ward that saw long-standing councillor Sue Chivers lose her seat for the want of only 13 votes.
Again at town level, Jamie Treharne for the Welsh Conservatives took the most votes in Overmonnow with sitting councillor John Fletcher and former councillor Terry Christopher also elected.
Newcomer Su McConnel for the Welsh Labour just scraped past Mrs Chivers to make the fourth candidate on the elected list.
Dixton with Osbaston saw Richard Roden, Conservative; Anthea Dewhurst, Liberal Democrats; Indy Monmouth’s Claudia Blair and Independent Jane Lesley leave three Indy candidates out of the race.
Wyesham saw one of the youngest candidates, Jess Stephens, take poll position, with Councillor Jane Gunter, the present deputy mayor, Indy’s Ken Breeze and Kelly Jackson-Graham ousting sitting councillor Ray Bradley and keeping out two Welsh Labour candidates; Steve Hughes, Lyn Tanner and Indy’s Rachel Jupp.
For the Drybridge ward, Matt Feakins was re-elected along with two Indy candidates Felicity Cotton and Alice Legg.
Elsewhere, at county council, Richard John was elected for Mitchel Troy, and re-elections were easy for Penny Jones in Raglan, Brian Strong in Usk, Bob Greenland in Devauden and Ann Webb in St Arvans. All are Welsh Conservative councillors.