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Invicta Grammar old girl provides council election upset

Friday 6th May 2016

The coalition ruling Maidstone Borough Council appears to have strengthened after the Conservatives dropped two seats in the local elections.

The Tories now have 23 seats on the authority while the Lib Dems picked up two, including a nail-bitingly close tussle for Coxheath and Hunton which was won by a single vote.

If the Lib Dems - who have 22 seats - can secure another anti-Consvervative alliance with the five independents, three Ukip members and a Labour duo, it will be business as usual for the council.

That pact will have to be put in place by May 21, the date of the annual general meeting at MBC when a new leadership is voted in.

The contest of the day was played out in the Coxheath and Hunton ward where 23-year-old Lib Dem Emily Fermor, a former Invicta Grammar School pupil, pictured, took the seat from the Tories.

It took four recounts and much toing and froing before the declaration was made that she had won by one vote, 798 to 797.

Her former school sent a congratulatory Tweet out with the message: "Well done."

Emily Tweeted: "Hugest of thanks to the local residents of Coxheath, Hunton, East Farleigh, West Farleigh and Linton for electing me as your Borough Cllr."

Bearsted was taken narrowly by the Conservative Mike Revel over the independent Denis Spooner by 59 votes. Mr Spooner had been the defeated Tory for the candidacy.

Mr Revel said: "Fifty-odd votes in a local election is a reasonable margin - we certainly weren't in recount territory. I had a great team to help me and they deserve great credit for their efforts."

In Shepway South, Ukip's Eddie Powell took the seat from the Tories comfortably.

The new make up of the council is:

 Con 23 (-2)

Ind 6 (-1)

Lab 2

Lib Dems 22 (+2)

Ukip 3 (+1)