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Tories hold on in by election

PUBLISHED: 17:12 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

THE Conservatives held on to Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Bradwell South and Hopton ward with In Bloom champion Sue Hacon taking the by-election seat.

THE Conservatives held on to Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Bradwell South and Hopton ward with In Bloom champion Sue Hacon taking the by-election seat.

But it was a close-fought race as the Liberal Democrats made headway in the ward with candidate Aleck Buchanan polling 397 votes against Mrs Hacon's 475.

In third place was the youngest candidate, Labour's Jo Vriesema, 28, who polled 254 votes.

UKIP's Colin Aldred was in fourth place with 116 votes and Green Party man Ian Holman polled 29.

More than 30 people - including candidates and their supporters - gathered at the town hall on Thursday evening for the count.

As the count got under way in the Assembly Room it

soon became clear the race was between the Tories the and Lib Dems.

The Tory gathering let out triumphant cheers as Mrs Hacon, 61, of Lords Lane, Bradwell, was recorded the winner.

She told the Mercury: “I was very nervous throughout the count as it looked close. I know the Lib Dems have worked very hard in Hopton and I congratulate them on their success, but I'm absolutely overjoyed to win.”

The mother-of-two will keep her role as In Bloom co-ordinator, a role which influenced her to get involved in politics.

Mrs Hacon, who comes from Sheffield, married a Yarmouth man, and has lived here for 25 years.

She said: “I'm a Yarmouth girl at heart and I love the town. I will do my best for the people.”

The Lib Dems increased their votes by more than 30pc compared with 2007 in what is considered a safe Conservative seat.

Mr Buchanan, of Watsons Close, Hopton, said he was “incredibly” grateful for the support he received.

He said: “I stood in this election because I wanted to represent the area in which I've lived and cared about for the last 20 years. I've tried to fight a positive campaign based on issues I felt were more important to our area and I'm pleased so many people supported me on that basis.”

Turnout was 25pc.

The vacancy was created following the resignation of Conservative councillor Brian Howard in October last year, who cited the planned local government shake-up for giving up his seat of nine years.

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