Six to fight for crucial Torbay Council seat

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 06:00

By Guy Henderson, Local Democracy Reporter

Six people have been nominated to contest a crucial by-election in Torbay next month.

They will be fighting for one of the Wellswood seats on Torbay Council, a vacancy created following the death of Cllr Patrick Joyce.
Cllr Joyce was elected as a Conservative in May 2023, but later left the party ranks to form the Prosper Torbay group with fellow Tory councillor Katya Maddison.
The creation of the new group changed the balance of the council completely, taking away the Conservatives’ overall majority.
The six candidates for the poll on 6 June are: Jonathan Chant-Stevens (Labour); Peter Fenton (Liberal Democrat); Hazel Foster (Conservative); Jenny Giel (Green); Mike Lister (Reform) and Paul Moor, for whom no party affiliation is listed on the official statement of people nominated.
Wellswood is traditionally a Tory stronghold, and the other sitting councillor in the ward is former mayor Nick Bye, who is also a Conservative.
The current make-up of the council, with Cllr Joyce’s seat yet to be filled, is that the Conservatives have 17 councillors and the opposing combination of Lib Dems, Independents and Prosper Torbay have 18.
Returning the Conservative candidate on 6 June would leave the council exactly tied. Any other outcome would give the opposition a majority of two.

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