Labour holds seat by just 25 votes in Leamington by-election

Helen Adkins is the new Labour councillor for the Willes ward in Leamington. Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington, previously held the position.
Helen Adkins is the new Labour councillor for the Willes ward in Leamington. Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington, previously held the position.

It was a tight race in the Leamington by-election last week but Labour managed to keep hold of their seat by just 25 votes.

On May 3 the by-election was held for the Warwickshire county councillor for Leamington Willes ward after Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western resigned from the position in March.

The candidates were: Helen Elizabeth Adkins (Labour), George Henry Christopher Begg (Liberal Democrats), Stacey Jacqueline Calder (Conservative) and Martin Luckhurst (Green).

It was a tight race between the Labour and Green candidates but Helen Adkins (Labour) won with 1,164 votes - just 25 ahead of Martin Luckhurst. The vote turnout was at 32 per cent.

Helen, who teaches at Warwick University, said: “I am delighted to have been elected as the new County Councillor for Leamington Willes.

“I am humbled that the people of Willes placed their trust in me and I will work every day for the community.

“I have replaced Matt Western, who worked very hard as the previous County Councillor in Willes and continues to work tirelessly as the MP for Warwick and Leamington.

“I would like to thank Matt for all his hard work and I am determined to build on his good work in the future.

“I started at work the day immediately after the election, with a meeting at the County Council to solve a parking issue, and then the following day when I held a ‘meet and greet’ with other Labour councillors in the area, where I discussed local issues raised by residents of Willes.

“I have begun to carry out casework on behalf of residents and if anyone has any issues or concerns, please get in touch.

“I am proud to be the only Labour County Councillor in Leamington and I vow to stand up against cuts at Warwickshire County Council. 

“As a teacher myself, I am seriously concerned about the difficulties local schools are experiencing due to the severe cuts from central government.

“This a priority issue and I will support schools in Willes and the wider Leamington area. For two years I have been working with the group ‘Warwickshire Schools, Face the Crisis, Fight the Cuts’, which is made up of parents, teachers and governors, who are coming together to fight such drastic cuts.

“I will continue this good work.

“Again, I would like to thank the people of Willes for all their support and I look forward to working together to make the community a better place.”

Matt Western, said: “I am delighted that Helen Adkins has been elected as the new Labour County Councillor for Leamington Willes, in South-East Leamington. She will be a terrific representative for the local community.

“I think it’s of vital importance to have more women on the County Council and Helen will give far greater balance to the local authority.

“She has unparalleled expertise on the topic of education, which will be vital in fighting cuts to our local schools.

“Pressure on school budgets in the local area is an issue which concerns many local parents and is negatively impacting our students’ futures. Helen will make standing up to school cuts her top priority.

“I am privileged to have served the residents of Leamington Willes as their County Councillor for the last five years and I will continue to do so as the MP.

“Thank you again to all Willes residents for your all your support over the years, and I am proud of what we have achieved together to make the area a better place.”