Labour retains control of Crawley Borough Council

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Labour kept control of Crawley Borough Council by 19 seats to 17 in an election which saw the number of spoiled ballot papers quadruple.

As always in Crawley, the day did not pass without a couple of surprises and close-run results.

Mayor Carlos Castro lost his Tilgate seat to Tory Charles Petts by 20 votes, with Mr Petts in turn beating Labour’s Kiran Khan by just five votes.

Every ward was being contested this year, and the turn-out was 31.58 per cent.

This was a drop on last year’s 33.1 per cent, when only 12 seats were involved.

Despite the national picture, which has seen the Conservatives lose more than 1,200 seats, in Crawley they cut Labour’s majority from three seats to two.

This was helped in part by a boundary change, which saw the town’s wards reduced from 15 to 13 and its seats from 37 to 36.

But it still ensured that democracy in the town would not be as one-sided as it has been in other parts of West Sussex.

That being said, the relative lack of other choices – there were no independent candidates – coupled with national issues such as the Brexit saga, appeared to have coloured some people’s thinking at the ballot box.

Last year, only 92 ballot papers were rejected. This year the number was 379.

Labour leader Peter Lamb, who was elected to the newly combined Northgate & West Green ward, said people were ‘quite disaffected’ with events in Westminster.

He added: “A democracy can only function while people feel they’ve got some investment in it.”

Duncan Crow, leader of the Conservatives, retained his Furnace Green seat.

He said that the ‘general unhappiness with the national situation at Westminster’ was an issue which had been raised a lot by residents in the run-up to the election.

As well as the borough elections, there was a county by-election to be fought in Northgate & West Green.

Labour held the seat, with Karen Sudan elected, replacing Sue Mullins, who had stepped down for personal reasons.

Mrs Mullins had hoped to take a seat alongside her husband, Chris, in another newly combined ward – Gossops Green & North East Broadfield.

While he was successful, she lost out to the Conservatives, with Liam Ascough taking the seat by 51 votes.

The results:

BEWBUSH & BROADFIELD NORTH

Marion Ayling (Lab) – 1,029 (ELECTED)

Rory Fiveash (Lab) – 948 (ELECTED)

Tony Herbert (Con) – 419

Michael Jones (Lab) – 873 (ELECTED)

Richard Kail (Green) – 321

Arshad Khan (Justice Party) – 106

Angela Khassal (Con)  – 325

Janet Setford-Thompson (Legacy) – 108

Sarah Smith (Lib Dem) – 172

Nina Wakeling (Con) – 384

18 rejected

BROADFIELD

Stefan Franks (Con) – 673

Ian Irvine (Lab) – 1,027 (ELECTED)

Irshad Jalaldeen (Con) – 540

Valerie Knight (Con) – 596

Tim Lunnon (Lab) – 868 (ELECTED)

Tahira Rana (Lab) – 807 (ELECTED)

43 rejected

FURNACE GREEN

Duncan Crow (Con) – 1,119 (ELECTED)

Dan Dobson (Lab) – 861

Carol Eade (Con) – 1,050 (ELECTED)

Harry Old (Lib Dem) – 171

Laura-Lee Willcock (Lab) – 693

23 rejected

GOSSOPS GREEN AND NORTH EAST BROADFIELD

Liam Ascough (Con) – 656 (ELECTED)

Iain Dickson (Green) – 218

Christopher Mullins (Lab) – 666 (ELECTED)

Susan Mullins (Lab) – 605

Neil Setford-Thompson (Legacy) – 61

Lisa Vitler (Con) – 598

21 rejected

IFIELD

Tahir Ashraf (Con) – 864

Josh Bounds (Con) – 945

Jilly Hart (Lab) – 1,076 (ELECTED)

Peter Smith (Lab) – 1,132 (ELECTED)

Martin Stone (Con) – 932

Geraint Thomas (Lab) – 1,167 (ELECTED)

43 rejected

LANGLEY GREEN AND TUSHMORE

William Arinze (Con) – 313

Bradley Constable (Con) – 365

Shahzad Malik (Lab) – 965 (ELECTED)

Lawrence Mallinson (Lib Dem) – 191

Tom McAleney (Lab) – 816 (ELECTED)

Mike Sargent (Lib Dem) – 267

Brenda Smith (Lab) – 958 (ELECTED)

Tanya Taylor (Con) – 320

27 rejected

MAIDENBOWER

Cecilia Hughes (Lab) – 580

Neil Hughes (Lab) – 543

Kim Jaggard (Con) – 1,216 (ELECTED)

Jennifer Millar-Smith (Con) – 1,188 (ELECTED)

Duncan Peck (Con) – 1,051 (ELECTED)

Daniel Ugbo (Lab) – 494

64 rejected

NORTHGATE AND WEST GREEN

Zack Ali (Con) – 827

David Anderson (Lib Dem) – 366

Connor Bounds (Con) – 734

Sally Fadelle (Green) – 419

Gurinder Jhans (Lab) – 1,016 (ELECTED)

Peter Lamb (Lab) – 1,126 (ELECTED)

Maureen Mwagale (Con) – 662

Karen Sudan (Lab) – 996 (ELECTED)

38 rejected

POUND HILL NORTH AND FORGE WOOD

Olusina Adeniyi (Lab) – 477

Tina Belben (Con) – 1,038 (ELECTED)

Richard Burrett (Con) – 1,065 (ELECTED)

Winifred Duggan (Lab) – 450

Siobhan Gallichan (Lab) – 473

John Mac Canna (Legacy) – 161

Kevan McCarthy (Con) – 976 (ELECTED)

28 rejected

POUND HILL SOUTH AND WORTH

Andrew Belben (Con) – 1,167 (ELECTED)

Colin Flack (Lab) – 710

Cyril Gambrell (Green) – 483

Stuart Gunatillake (Lab) – 506

Bob Lanzer (Con) – 1,165 (ELECTED)

Emma Newnham (Lab) – 633

Alison Pendlington (Con) – 1,051 (ELECTED)

21 rejected

SOUTHGATE

Morgan Flack (Lab) – 1,017 (ELECTED)

Karim Khassal (Con) – 722

Inna Orjola (Con) – 775

Kevin Osborne (Lib Dem) – 301

Mike Pickett (Lab) – 1,065 (ELECTED)

Simon Piggott (Con) – 856

Raj Sharma (Lab) – 999 (ELECTED)

24 rejected

THREE BRIDGES

Bob Burgess (Con) – 969 (ELECTED)

Brenda Burgess (Con) – 976 (ELECTED)

Julian Charatan (Lab) – 752

Danielle Kail (Green) – 425

Angela Malik (Lab) – 743

Stephen Pritchard (Lab) – 710

Jonathan Purdy (Con) – 798 (ELECTED)

17 rejected

TILGATE

Francis Guidera (Con) – 803 (ELECTED)

Derek Hardman (Green) – 259

Kiran Khan (Lab) – 646

Charles Petts (Con) – 651 (ELECTED)

Carols Portal Castro (Lab) – 631

12 rejected

WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL NORTHGATE BY-ELECTION

David Anderson (Lib Dem) – 268

Richard Kail (Green) – 246

Karen Sudan (Labour) – 1,293 (ELECTED)

Jan Tarrant (Con) – 893

Rejected – 52