THE LIBERAL Democrat Deputy Leader of South Lakeland District Council lost her seat in a shock result tonight.

Janet Willis, of Mid Furness, was defeated by 26 votes by Tory opponent Andrew Butcher following a re-count.

Candidates were fighting for 17 of the 51 seats on the council.

The Lib Dems also lost the council’s chairman Evelyn Westwood who failed to retain her Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale seat.

That was won by Tory Mel Mackie by just three votes while there was some good news for the Lib Dems’ after Eric Morrell took advantage of Andrew Gardner’s resignation to take the Grange North  seat for his party.

Elsewhere, SLDC leader Peter Thornton had a close shave in his Whinfell ward. There was a high turnout of 80.17% and Cllr Thornton scraped past Tory opponent Pat Bell with a 32-vote win.

The Liberal Democrats still hold the balance of power on the council with 33 councillors but the scalps of the deputy leader and the chairman, along with running the leader close, will be a big boost to the Conservatives.

Lib Dem Sue Sanderson won the Cumbria County Council by election for Cartmel, which was called following the resignation through ill health of Rod Wilson.



Ambleside and Grasmere: Vivienne June Cassandra Rees. Lib Dem HOLD

Arnside and Beetham: Ian Stewart. Lib Dem HOLD

Broughton: Joss Curwen. Independent GAIN

Burneside: Keith Hurst-Jones. Lib Dem HOLD

Burton and Holme: Brian Cooper. Conservative HOLD

Cartmel and Grange West: Mary Wilson. Lib Dem HOLD

Grange North: Eric Morrell. Lib Dem GAIN

Grange South: Tom Harvey. Conservative HOLD

Holker: Gill Gardner. Lib Dem HOLD

Low Furness: James Airey. Conservative HOLD

Mid Furness: Andrew Butcher. Conservative GAIN

Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale: Mel Mackie. Conservative GAIN

Whinfell: Peter Thornton. Lib Dem HOLD

Windermere Applethwaite and Troutbeck: Ben Berry. Conservative HOLD

Windermere Bowness North: Colin Jones. Lib Dem HOLD

Windermere Bowness South: David Williams. Conservative HOLD

Windermere Town: Dyan Jones. Lib Dem HOLD