Here is the formal declaration of the Frodsham South by-election result from yesterday.
A big thank-you to everyone involved in working so hard for Caroline and to those who helped give Caroline and the Conservatives the opportunity to increase both our majority and the share of the votes cast for a Conservative since this seat was last contested in August 2011.
This was an election we didn't seek - but having been called we were happy to contest.
With all-out Town Council elections due in May 2015 we would have been content for the Town Council to co-opt to fill this vacancy in the full knowledge that a Conservative would almost certainly not have been adopted even presupposing one had been put forward - which would have been very unlikely. We can say this as, until last night, there were only 3 Conservatives on the Town Council and we don't act as a political party on the Town Council in any event. Had this vacancy occurred in or after October 2014 no election would have been permitted given the proximity of the all-out elections in May 2015.
For a parish or town council to hold by-elections 10 local voters have to petition to say they seek an election, otherwise the parish or town council can co-opt to fill any casual vacancy that arises. Each by-election costs the Town Council close to £5,000 - and this is third by-election we have had to the Town Council within a year. With the all-out elections in May 2015 so close I pose the question whether this was money that needed to be spent. It is literally the price of democracy.
Since the last all-out elections in May 2011 there has been 1 co-option (Cllr Alan Wales (Independent)) and 4 by-elections fought and contested.
There are now 4 Conservatives on the Town Council out of the 16 members. At the all out elections in 2011 all 3 Conservative candidates seeking election were elected and a fourth was elected in the August 2011 by-election.
All Conservatives on FTC are pledged to working independently of each other and to work with all other town councillors willing to work collectively. We don't hold pre-meetings or stitch up council business before hand.
We tell you honestly and openly we are Conservatives so you can appreciate the philosophy we bring with us - however we do not act as a political bloc or caucus at the Town Council.
We are the only political party to act in this open and honest way in Frodsham.
Other political parties have a long track record of putting forward so-called independents - who then declare, when elected, political party affiliations in their declarations of interests.