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Martin Bates elected for Guston, Kingsdown and St Margaret's-at-Cliffe in district council by-election

Martin Bates has claimed another seat for the Conservatives on Dover District Council following a by-election.

The retired inmigration officer who worked for Border Force for 43 years will represent the Guston, Kingsdown and St Margaret's-at-Cliffe ward.

Martin Bates (Con) is a new district councillor for the Guston, Kingsdown and St Margaret's-at-Cliffe ward
Martin Bates (Con) is a new district councillor for the Guston, Kingsdown and St Margaret's-at-Cliffe ward

The 65-year-old from Eythorne received 2,523 votes. Runner up was Labour's Eileen Rowbotham with 902 votes.

He fills the vacancy left by Keith Morris, who was also the leader of DDC, following his resignation in October.

He told KentOnline said: "I wanted to be a councillor because now I'm retired I want to give something back to society.

"I tried to call on as many doorsteps as possible during my campaign and discovered there is quite a lot of concern about traffic, in particular in the rural villages and hamlets.

"There's also concern about street lighting, which I'm told DDC is tackling, but once I've get my feet under the table, I'm sure I'll find out more.

Keith Morris resigned from Dover District Council in October. Picture: Dover District Council
Keith Morris resigned from Dover District Council in October. Picture: Dover District Council

"I've been involved with Speed Watch where I live so I can identify with this issue.

"I will do my best to work out what can be done."

The by-election was held on Thursday to coincide with the General Election, with a turnout of 72% (4,291 people).

The Green's Sarah Gleave picked up 461 votes, while Liberal Democrat's Robert Franklin received 382 votes. A total of 23 papers were rejected.

Keith Morris quoted personal reasons when he left his role on the council in October.

He had been the authority's Conservative leader for exactly two years and a district member since May 2011.

The role of chairman has since been taken up by Cllr Trevor Bartlett.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover


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