A HISTORICALLY Conservative seat has been won by the Liberal Democrats in Trowbridge, after the political party beat the Conservatives in both the Town Council and Wiltshire Council ward elections.

People living in the Drynham Ward councillor voted in Andrew Bryant as their new councillor.

Conservative voters were split between the party candidate Kam Reynolds and former Conservative member John Knight, who ran as an Independent after not being chosen by the party.

Held by Cllr Graham Payne for several decades as both Conservative and Independent, the Wiltshire Council seat was won by Andrew Bryant and the Town Council by Denise Bates. Both are members of the Liberal Democrat party.

In the Wiltshire Council Ward race, Andrew Bryant received 431, Kam Reynolds (Con) 316, John Knight (Ind) 246 and Shaun Henley (Lab) 44. The turnout was 33 per cent.

Cllr Andrew Bryant, 51, said: “I spent five weeks door knocking and listening to people’s concerns.

“My main concerns are new housing at Elm Grove Farm and the increased traffic it could cause, the weeds and grass cutting in the area and the state of the town centre in general. I hope to set up a community speed watch group”

“Larkrise also came up a lot and there was a lot of anger there.”

“The seat was Conservative but there was also personality politics coming into play. Graham got things done and that’s what people liked. I hope to be the same.”

Liberal Democrat leader Ian Thorn said: “We are obviously delighted. We never presumed until the ballots started coming back. “It was a perfect storm where people did not want to vote for the main two parties and throw in a highly experienced Lib Dem campaigner and you have the perfect storm. We always knew it would be a tough seat and needed a large swing which is what we got.”“there was a split between conservative members who feel unease about Boris Johnson becoming the leader and then those who are disappointed that they haven’t fulfilled Brexit yet.

“It will be interesting to see if this national feeling continues for the next two years until the 2021 elections.”

Jonathon Seed, Conservative group secretary at Wiltshire Council said: “The Conservative Group of Wiltshire Council group were naturally disappointed not to win Trowbridge Drynham, however the combined vote of Conservative candidate Kam Reynolds and former Conservative John Knight far outnumbers that of the newly elected Liberal Democrat and we will aim to recover the seat in 2021.”

Town Councillor Denise Bates spent 23 year as a school manager at Paxcroft Primary and retired last summer. She said: “Now I have the time to dedicate myself to working for people in Drynham.

"It was really interesting speaking to people who were concerned about housing developments in the area and the increased traffic that could be caused. They also talked about general street cleaning in the area and the state of the town centre.”

A further change at Trowbridge Town Council sees Independent councillor Graham Hill elected to represent Grove Ward after securing 441 votes against Anthony Mansfield (Lab) who received 62 votes.