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Far right rejected in North Wiltshire
THE Conservatives have swept to power in North Wiltshire District Council, on a day when voters rejected the far right.
The Tories took control of the previously Liberal Democrat-led council, claiming 39 of 54 seats.
The effect the leisure centre crisis had in the district was stark, as the Lib Dems gained just 14 seats.
One of the biggest losses for the Lib Dems was in Wootton Bassett, where the Conservatives swept the board, claiming all five available seats.
Executive members Olivia Thomas and Steve Walls both lost their seats.
David Evans was another notable casualty for the party, losing the Calne Without ward to Conservative Shauna Bodman.
John Webb also lost his seat in Lyneham, after he was defeated comprehensively by Conservatives Allison Bucknell and Sarah Still.
Leader of the Conservatives Dick Tonge said it had been a wonderful day for the party.
"I think there have been several problems in the council over the last couple of years," he said.
"The Conservatives now have a majority, so we will be putting forward our team to run the district council and there will be major changes ahead."
However, the Lib Dems did manage to salvage a few small victories.
Sylvia Doubell, the deputy leader, and her husband John were elected in the Chippenham Pewsham ward, after a very tight race.
Im over the moon, its a Lib Dem gain said Mrs Doubell, who was thought to have been under severe threat of losing her seat.
Ross Henning also hung on to his place in the council, taking the Calne Abberd ward ahead of Conservative Roy Golding.
He praised people in the town for steering clear of the British National Party, whose candidate, Robert Baggs, gained just 91 of the 699 votes.
"The people in Calne are a sensible bunch and they have not gone off half-cocked to the far right,"he said.
The BNP put forward four candidates, in the Corsham and Lacock, Box and Rudloe, Calne Abberd and Pickwick wards, finishing dead last in three.
BNP member Michael Simpkins, who has become a Corsham Town Councillor, finished second last in the Box and Rudloe ward.
He said: "ts not about winning seats at this stage, its about becoming acceptable."
Christine Reid, the lone Labour councillor, held onto her Pickwick seat.
"Im just so delighted Corsham hasnt gone totally blue and Im delighted to continue to let people know that the Labour party exists and matters in North Wiltshire, she said.
The United Kingdom Independence Party won no seats at all.
However, a defiant Dianne Moore, who lost the Calne Quemerford ward, said: "The numbers of votes were brilliant and it shows theres something for us to build on."
North Wiltshire Conservative MP James Gray, who watched the days events unfold, said: " think its an outstanding result and I look forward to Dick Tonge and his team turning North Wiltshire District Council around."Im also delighted the BNP got absolutely nowhere at all."