Last night (May 19th) Hastings and St Leonards newly elected borough councillors were sworn in and assumed their roles as ward representatives when Hastings Borough Council held its Annual Meeting.
Despite retaining their majority over the Council, Labour sustained significant losses, losing four seats to the Conservatives in the Baird, Ore, Silverhill and St Helens wards while losing also by popular vote – albeit only just –having won 38 per cent of votes compared to the 39 per cent won by the Tories.
Old Hastings—formerly a Labour seat before turning independent when Councillor Dany Louise resigned from the Labour Party—was a gain for the Greens, their first ever win in Hastings, technically bringing Labour’s losses up to five.
Perhaps most notable of Labour’s losses was that of the Baird ward which, despite being ranked among the most deprived areas in the country, voted to replace the former Labour Councillor Warren Davies with a Conservative in what was a marginal victory for Councillor Rob Cooke in a highly contested area.
Labour now currently controls 19 seats on the council, down from 23, with the Conservatives now controlling a total of 12 seats up from their previous of eight.
The Greens replaced the single independent seat, with local party leader Julia Hilton winning over a thousand votes to become a Councillor of the Old Hastings ward.
The election also brought yet more disappointment to the Liberal Democrats, however, who finished last in all but one of the 16 contested seats and in the end earned only six per cent of the total vote.
The 16 elected Councillors are as follows:
Baird – Rob Cooke: elected with 575 votes
Ore – Alan Hay: elected with 573 votes
St Helens – Peter Pragnell: elected with 889 votes
Silverhill – Lucian Fernando: elected with 682 votes
Ashdown – Sorrell Marlow-Eastwood: re-elected with 792 votes
Conquest – Paul Foster – Incumbent; re-elected with 851 votes
Maze Hill – Graeme Williams: elected with 781 votes
West St Leonards – Karl Beaney – Incumbent: re-elected with 761 votes
Braybrooke – Sabina Arthur: elected with 739 votes
Castle – Claire Carr: elected with 733 votes
Central St Leonards – Trevor Webb – Incumbent: re-elected with 706 votes
Gensing – Heather Bishop: elected with 740 votes
Hollington – Maya Evans – Incumbent: re-elected with 560 votes
Tressell – Ali Roarke: elected with 455 votes
Wishing Tree – Alan Roberts – Incumbent: elected with 608 votes
Old Hastings – Julia Hilton: elected with 1,032 votes more than 50 per cent of the total votes cast in the ward.