Labour makes Eden breakthrough in county council elections

Date: Friday 5th May 2017

A LABOUR county councillor was elected to represent an Eden ward for the first time and the Liberal Democrats made a gain at the expense of the Tories during an eventful election count at Penrith Leisure Centre last night.

Postal worker Claire Driver, aged 41, of Alston, was elected to serve Alston and the East Fellside, ousting the sitting Independent candidate, Mary Robinson.

Langwathby-born Claire, who joined the Labour Party last year after seeing how hard its local group activists were fighting to save Alston hospital’s inpatient beds, said the community had been galvanised into wanting to see a proper stand being taken against Government cuts.

She added that thanks to the “massive support” she had received there was now a clear mandate for those voices to be heard.

Next week Andy Connell will again become mayor of Appleby, and, despite the tide being very much with the Conservatives across Cumbria and nationwide, he managed to take the town’s seat on the county council for the Liberal Democrats.

Mr. Connell said Appleby had been a Tory seat for 31 years, but he had now managed to get elected at his fourth attempt. It was 20 years ago when he first stood as a candidate to become a county councillor for the town.

Full story in Saturday's paper