Wiltshire Council election results

Written by Gerald Isaaman on .

Stewart Dobson takes Marlborough East from Peggy Dow in a narrow win over Nigel Kerton.  

Nick Fogg retains Marlborough West from Noel Barrett-Morton.  

James Sheppard takes Aldbourne and Ramsbury from Chris Humphries.  

Jemima Milton retains Selkley West.  


What is done, is done, says defeated Marlborough independent candidate Peggy Dow

Good wishes have been offered to Tory candidate Stewart Dobson in his victory by a handful of votes to win Marlborough’s East Ward in yesterday’s Wiltshire Council elections.

They came from defeated independent candidate Peggy Dow, who held the seat for the past four years.  She quit the Lib-Dem party last year to stand as an independent for a seat on the unitary authority, and ended up in third place.

Runner-up in the election battle was 65-year-old retired Wiltshire Gazette and Herald reporter Nigel Kerton, well known for his decades in the papers’ former Marlborough office.  He was beaten by just 29 votes.

“I wish Stewart good luck and hope he will be able to serve the people of Marlborough as well as I have,” Mrs Dow, a former Mayor of Marlborough, told Marlborough News Online.

“I always knew it was going to be a tough fight with five candidates contesting the ward.

“I am of course disappointed but you can only do your best.  What is done is done and I have to accept it.  I can now concentrate on my home.”

Mrs Dow, who has protested at confusing information about a claimed council rate freeze in Tory literature was surprised at the early announcement of the election results.

“We were told by Wiltshire not to go down to the count until 1pm.  There is nothing like hearing of your defeat while at home.  But it is another indication of poor information being given out by Wiltshire Council.”

At Friday’s count in Devizes, Stewart Dobson told Marlborough News Online: “I’m very, very delighted – absolutely thrilled.  And I’m looking forward to representing Marlborough East voters
- every single one of them.”


I should have stood for UKIP says narrowly defeated independent candidate Nigel Kerton

I feel sorry for the people of Marlborough as I would have been a much more active Wiltshire councillor than Stewart Dobson.  You only have to look at the list of organisations I am member of, chairman of, president of.   I have put my life into Marlborough.

And I would have put my entire retirement into it but I was fighting against the party machine, and I don’t think people know what that means.”

He added: : “I am sorry in some ways that I didn’t do as my son suggested and stand for UKIP.   But I don’t think Marlborough is ready for UKIP yet.

I know their national policies but I wasn’t sure what their local policies were.  Never mind, I tried.  And I shall stand again next time.”

He believes that the sheer number of people who went out canvassing for Stewart Dobson, the number of people who made their cars available yesterday to ferry in Conservative supporters to the polling station made the difference between success and defeat.

“If I had ferried in six, seven car loads of four supporters each I could have pipped him to the post, but I don’t have the party machinery behind me.”

I know their national policies but I wasn’t sure what their local policies were.  Never mind, I tried.  And I shall stand again next time.”


James Sheppard takes Wiltshire Council seat from his friend Chris Humphries

“All the hard work,” said James Sheppard after he had won the Aldbourne and Ramsbury seat on Wiltshire Council for the Conservatives, “has paid off.  Many thanks to everyone who has supported me.”

“I’m looking forward to working hard for all the people I represent.  Throughout the campaign the support just got bigger and bigger.”

James Sheppard was at the Devizes Leisure Centre with his wife, Deborah, to watch the count.  Chris Humphries, who had represented Aldbourne and Ramsbury since 2009, was the only other candidate on the ballot paper.  The two families have been friends for many years.

In the first Wiltshire unitary election in 2009, Mr Sheppard had stood as an Independent for the West Selkley Council seat.  But this year he put his name forward as the Conservative candidate for Aldbourne and Ramsbury when Chris Humphries, the sitting Councillor, left the Conservatives and decided to stand as an independent.

Well before it was announced, Chris Humphries said he did not want to comment on the result.

James and Deborah Sheppard have a farm and a bed and breakfast business between Marlborough and Minal.

The other ‘village seat’ in the Marlborough Area is West Selkley.  There Jemima Milton was standing against the Labour candidate, Matthew Lee who had put his name forward as a ‘paper candidate’.

Mrs Milton, who won 830 votes to Mr Lee’s 244, said she was “Absolutely delighted to be able to carry on working for her constituents and to keep Wiltshire Council working efficiently and for everyone.”  

In the West Selkley ballot boxes there were sixteen spoilt voting papers – including one which had been torn into shreds and selotaped back together again.

With the two village seats and Marlborough East now with Conservative councillors, they will have a voting majority on the Marlborough Area Board.


Independent Nick Fogg scores a commanding 200-vote victory in Wiltshire election

Nick Fogg, twice Mayor of Marlborough, who scored a comfortable victory by a margin of 200 votes over his Tory opponent in Marlborough’s West Ward, was delighted to be re-elected.

“I’m very happy with the result,” he told Marlborough News Online. “The Tories did very well in Wiltshire actually.  UKIP won just one seat in the whole county.

“That must be one of their lowest levels of success given the way they have 140 seats or more across the country.”

Councillor Fogg’s result was announced at the election count before he arrived.  “So I didn’t meet my opponent but heard that poor Peggy Dow lost to Stewart Dobson in Marlborough’s East Ward,” he said.

“Stewart Dobson got elected on a tiny percentage of the vote, which shows the vagaries of the system and the fact that an overwhelming number of people didn’t want him.

“The Tories are always going to win in Wiltshire but I shall carry on representing my independent view on behalf of the residents of Marlborough.

“There is a belief that Marlborough doesn’t get its fair share of services out of Wiltshire, though we are getting all our roads repaired in the summer.  We fought for that and now we’ve got it.”

And he added: “So people think we should have compulsory voting in elections.  I am not sure about that because one of our freedoms is the freedom not to vote.

“I know lots of people think it is a hard won privilege which people had to fight for.  But I’m quite relaxed about people not voting really.

“In a way, apathy is part of the system and it’s a way of saying they don’t quite like what’s going on, which is what they have been doing. I think we are happy with the system as we are.”


For full ward-by-ward details click here to go to the Election Results page

The overall result in Wiltshire, which leaves the Conservatives in control, was:

Conservatives  - 58 seats,
Liberal Democrats  - 27 seats
Independent  - 7 seats
Labour  - 4 seats
UK Independence Party  - 1 seat
Other  - 1 seat



James Sheppard, victor in Aldbourne and Ramsbury, with his wife receiving congratulationsJames Sheppard, victor in Aldbourne and Ramsbury, with his wife receiving congratulationsLeft to Right - Chris Humphries and James SheppardLeft to Right - Chris Humphries and James SheppardThree local victors - James Sheppard, Nick Fogg, and Jemima MiltonThree local victors - James Sheppard, Nick Fogg, and Jemima MiltonMarlborough East LibDem candidate, Sue Knowles waits anxiouslyMarlborough East LibDem candidate, Sue Knowles waits anxiouslyThe count.....The count.....Marlborough West ballot boxMarlborough West ballot box