have narrowly stolen a Conservative ward following a
Gravesham Borough Council by-election.
Les Howes, of Everest Close,
Northfleet, was named the new Painters Ash ward councillor
this morning after securing 626 votes - just three more than the
opposition Tory candidate Veronica Craske, of Pepper Hill, Painters
Liberal Democrat candidate Ian
Stevenson, of Mitchell Avenue, Northfleet, secured
The election was held following the
resignation of Conservative councillor Peter Barbuti.
Thirty votes were rejected out of
the 1,841 cast, in a 41 per cent turn out from the people of
The votes had to be recounted
The 48-year-old father-of-two,
married to fellow councillor for Coldharbour ward, Susan
Howes, said: "I am a bit shell-shocked. Everybody said that Labour
was dead but clearly not in Painters Ash. It was exceedingly tense
as the votes were counted as it was too close to call."
See the Gravesend Messenger
next week (Thursday, June 11) for the full story.