Verwood’s Spencer Flower “disappointed” as Liberal Democrats take control of Dorset Council

Liberal Democrats have taken control of the 82-seat Dorset Council by a one-seat margin and are already promising changes.

The Lib Dem group leader, Nick Ireland, said that his group would have an immediate review of car parking charges, one of the most complained about Tory policies, and would look to improve housing, including possibly building council homes.

He says he would also like to see more economic development support for Weymouth, Portland and Chickerell.

It is the first time the party have been in control since the surprise win by the Lib Dems at Dorset County Council in 1993, who then won a second term and continued in power as a minority administration until 2001.

Conservative group and now former council leader Spencer Flower was disappointed with the result – but promised to be “an effective opposition” holding the Lib Dems to account.

“The whole election was skewed because of the national situation and people had decided they wanted change, not because of what we have done, because based on our achievements over the last five years we would have won had it just been down to local politics,” he said.

Cllr Spencer Flower had been an East Dorset District Councillor 1999-2019, a Dorset County Councillor 2005-19, a Dorset Council Councillor since May 2019 a Verwood Town Councillor since 2011 – present. He is married with two children. He was Leader of East Dorset District 2008-13 & 2016-19, Leader of Dorset County Council 2013-2015 and was Leader of the Dorset Council since the elections in May 2019.

Spencer was also a Member of the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Authority May 2015-May 2019 (being Chairman for his final two years as an Authority Member).

The results for Verwood: (3 seats. Con x 3) – John Baxter UK Independence Party 220; Toni Coombs Local Conservative 1918; Lindsey Dedden Lib Dem 857; Spencer Flower Local Conservative 1765; Simon Gibson Local Conservative 2006; Ginette Holdroyd Lib Dem 579; Ted Mason Lib Dem 707; Sandra Turner Labour 487.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Lib Dem council leader Vikki Slade, who was at the Dorset Council count, has promised closer working into the future with Dorset Council now that it has changed control.

“I’m very excited about it, together we can really achieve a lot of changes,” she said.

Both the Greens and Independents for Dorset were also disappointed with their showing, the Greens mourning the loss of Bridport councillor Kelvin Clayton by a narrow margin, and not convincing voters in other seats.

Independent group leader, Dorchester councillor Les Fry, had also hoped for better results and has promised to continue to maintain an independent stace on all issues. “We shall have to see what the Liberal Democrats now come up with and we await their plans with interest,” he said.

Among the Conservative losses were former deputy council leader Peter Wharf, planning portfolio holder David Walsh, and Lytchett and Upton councillor Bill Pipe who had twice been disciplined for comments made at committee meetings since the council came into being in 2019.

Labour maintained their two seats – Paul Kimber on Portland and Kate Wheller in nearby Wyke.

The end of evening saw Liberal Democrats with 42 seats, Conservatives 30, Green 4, Independents for Dorset 3, Labour 2, Independent (un-aligned) 1.

Full results with which party, or parties, previously held the ward in parenthesis –  

Beacon (Con ) – Gillian Cross Lab 133; Sheila Healy Green 125; Claire Reed Lib Dem 307; Jane Somper Conservative 898.
 (Con) – Julie Cooke Lab 70; Paul Fitzpatrick Lib Dem 579; Richard Gunning no description 17; Yvonne Harris Reform UK 69; Andy McEwen Green 65; Craig Monks Local Conservative 601.
Blackmore Vale (Con)– Vicki Elcoate Green 161; Stephen Murcer Conservative 637; Ian Suter Lib Dem 468.
Blandford (2 seats. Con x 2) – Daniel Avery Social Democratic Party 50; Gerald Davies Labour 279; Noc Lacey-Clarke Local Conservative 1307; Hugo Mieville Lib Dem 756; David Orton Lib Dem 556; Byron Quayle Local Conservative 1334; Linda Stenner Social Democratic Party 31; Dennis Wardleworth Labour 259; Pete West Green 113; Lisa Willis Green 123.
Bridport (3 seats. Lib Dem x 2, 1 Green) – Bridget Bolwell Lib Dem 1587; Dave Bolwell Lib Dem 1646; Una Christopher Local Conservative 832; Kelvin Clayton Green 1562; Anna Cox Local Conservative 754; Bob Hamblett Green 880; Julian Jones Green 1166; Frances McKenzie Local Conservative 747; Steven Rose Lab 760; Sarah Williams Lib Dem 1726.
Chalk Valleys (Con) – John Bennet Labour 186; Jill Haynes Local Conservative 683; Iain Young Lib Dem 554.
Charminster St Mary (Lib Dem)– David Taylor Lib Dem 892, Nigel McCrea Local Conservative 483.
Chesil Bank (Con) – Sally Holland Lib Dem 704; Richard Nicholls Labour 61; Peter Reid Green 376; Mark Roberts Local Conservative 482.
Chickerell (2 seats. Con, Ind/No party) – Simon Clifford Lib Dem 729 ; Jean Dunseith Local Conservative 690; Andrew Reid Local Conservative 570; Alphonso Straker Labour 329, Gill Taylor, Lib Dem 891.
Colehill & Wimborne (2 seats. Lib Dem x2) – Jindy Atwal Lib Dem 1168; Carol Butler Local Conservative 764; K D Johnson Local Conservative 940; David Moore Lab 215; Andrew Todd Lib Dem 1275; Emma Urquhart Independent 578.
Corfe Mullen (2 seats. Lib Dem, Con) – Mike Barron Local Conservative 641; Scott Florek Lib Dem 1145; Lee Hardy Independent 457; Graham Hillman Labour 197; Duncan Sowry-House Lib Dem 1249.
Cranborne and Alderholt (Lib Dem) – Adrian Hibberd Local Conservative 508; Peter Parsons Labour 77; Dave Tooke Lib Dem 678.
Cranborne Chase (Con) – Piers Brown Local Conservative 634; Louise Cooper Labour 142; Tom Harding Lib Dem 194.
Crossways (Lib Dem) – Jim Draper Labour 113, Nick Ireland Lib Dem 636; Andrew Ross-Skinner Local Conservative 361.
Dorchester East (2 seats. Lib Dem x 2) – Mina Bowater Local Conservative 322; Angus Christopher Local Conservative 329; Kate Hebditch Lib Dem 825; Katy Jones Independent 571; Stella Jones Lib Dem 1337; Rory Major Lib Demm979; Ash Mottaghi Labour 208; Barry Thompson Labour 304.
Dorchester Poundbury (Lib Dem) – Richard Biggs Lib Dem 780; Nick Boothroyd Labour 122; Len Herbert Green 93, Peter Stein Local Conservative 449.
Dorchester West (2 seats. Lib Dem, Ind) – Andy Canning Lib Dem 1322; Les Fry Independent 1335; Jeremy Peel-Yates Local Conservative 261; Kevin Selby Local Conservative 254; Claudia Sorin Labour 580; Andrew Wyatt Labour 259.
Eggardon (Con)- Harry Coutts Local Conservative 637; Richard Edwards Green 238; Neil Eysenck Lib Dem 724; David Machin Labour 57.
Ferndown North (2 seats. Con x2) – Simon Cable Independent 781; Michael Clements Lib Dem 304; Andrei Dragotoniu Reform UK 232; Philip Leach Independent 753; Cathy Lugg Local Conservative 955; Mike Parkes Local Conservative 794; Esbjörn Wilmar Lib Dem 228.
Ferndown South (2 seats. Con x 2)  – Ross Bowell Lib Dem 270; Paul Hanson Graham Independent 367; Hannah Hobbs-Chell Independent 621; Susan Jefferies Lib Dem 276; George Phillips Local Conservative 602; Julie Robinson Local Conservative 684; Lawrence Wilson Independent 556.
Gillingham (3 seats. Con x3) –  David Fox Lib Dem 1444; Angela Henshall Green 554; Anna Marsh Labour 532; Alex Percy Lib Dem 1402; Val Pothecary Local Conservative 1549; Belinda Ridout Local Conservative 1528; David Walsh Local Conservative 1408; Carl Woode Lib Dem 1490.
Hill Forts and Upper Tarrants
(Con) – Alan Cross Labour 168, Joseph Hickish Lib Dem 251; Sherry Jespersen Conservative 709; Keith Yarwood Green 151.
Littlemoor and Preston
 (2 seats. Con x 2) – Alex Bailey Independent 439; Steve Brown Labour 408; Peter Dickenson Local Conservative 1379; Howard Legg Lib Dem 688; Louie O’Leary Local Conservative 1599; Ann Weaving Lib Dem 664.
Lyme Regis & Charmouth (Con at last full election then Green in byelection) – Belinda Bawden Green 884; Michaela Ellis Local Conservative 380; David Hart Labour 83; Paddy Mooney Lib Dem 103.
Lytchett Matravers and Upton (3 seats. Lib Dem x2, Con) – John Billington Labour 363; Alex Brenton Lib Dem 1354; Sean Gabriel Local Conservative 965; Stew McKell Local Conservative 928; Bill Pipe Local Conservative 1073; Steve Robinson Lib Dem 1356; Andrew Starr Lib Dem 1155.
Marshwood Vale (Con) – Steve Chapman Labour 109, Simon Christopher Local Conservative 645; Jane Gregory Lib Dem 340; Jacqui Sewell Green 525.
Melcombe Regis (Green) – Howard Atkinson Labour 176; Jon Orrell Green 419; Claire Wall Local Conservative 256.
Portland (3 seats. Ind x 2, Labour) – Catherine Bennett Green 785; Susan Cocking Independent 744; Margaret Gadd Local Conservative 342; Lee Harmsworth Lib Dem 75; Holly Hope Lib Dem 120; Rob Hughes Independent 895; Paul Kimber Labour 875; Ian Munro-Price Local Conservative 244; Bernard Parkes Labour 546; Carralyn Parkes Labour 724; Gillian Pearson Lib Dem 74; Maureen Quinn Local Conservative 224; Pete Roper Independent 899.
Puddletown and Lower Winterborne (Con) – Helen Badger Labour 243; James Lloyd Lib Dem 456; Emma Parker Local Conservative 603.
Radipole (2 seats. Lib Dem x2) – Matt Bell Lib Dem 1427; Louise Bown Lib Dem 1123; Pauline Crump Labour 486; James Farquharson Local Conservative 457; George Granycome Local Conservative 464.
Rodwell and Wyke (3 seats. Green x 2, Labour) – Valerie Graves Green 1199; Caroline Nickinson Local Conservative 825; Richard Nickinson Local Conservative 756; Antony Prowse Labourm914; Clare Sutton Green 1516; Thomas Taylor Labour 700; Claudia Webb Green 1327; Kate Wheller Labour 1385; Clare Williams Local Conservative 644.
Shaftesbury Town (2 seats. Lib Dem x2) – Dan Bavister Labour 233; Derek Beer Lib Dem 1403; Lester Dibben no description 187; Virginia Edwyn-Jones Local Conservative 558; Andrew Hollingshead Independent 529; Jack Jeanes Lib Dem 1008; Lester Taylor Patriots Alliance – English Democrats and UKIP 86; Steve Unwin Patriots Alliance – English Democrats and UKIP 118; Barry Von Clemens Local Conservative 269.
Sherborne East (Lib Dem)  – Jon Andrews Lib Dem 838; Robert Casey Green 103; Juliet Pentolfe Local Conservative 502.
Sherborne Rural  (Lib Dem) – Stephen Hillier Conservative 604; Robin Legg Lib Dem 916.
Sherborne West (Lib Dem) –  Rebecca Burns Local Conservative 471; Richard Crabb Lib Dem 575; Taff Martin Independent 264.
South East Purbeck (Con) – Cherry Brooks Local Conservative 523; Peter Copp Labour 95, Ben Wilson Lib Dem 848.
St Leonards and St Ives (2 seats. Con x 2) – Andrew Barham Lib Dem 626; Ray Bryan Local Conservative 1236; Nicola Buckell Lib Dem 730; Barry Goringe Local Conservative 1160.
Stalbridge & Marnhull (Con) – Rosalind Eveleigh Lib Dem 603; Richard Harvey Green 133; James Vitali Local Conservative 767.
Stour and Allen Vale (Con) –  Will Chakawhata Lib Dem 688 ; Robin Cook Local Conservative 497; Maryanne Pike Labour 114.
Sturminster Newton (Con) Jennifer Daultrey Labour 85; Carole Jones Local Conservative 712; Kevin Maitland-Gleed Lib Dem 262.
Swanage (2 seats Con x 2)  – Chris Bradey Labour 789; Gill Calvin Thomas Lib Dem 192; Philip Eades Independent 686; Helen McDavid Independent 460; Debby Monkhouse Labour 1084; Matt Piper Lib Dem 283; Kia Pope Green 215; Gary Suttle Local Conservative 1262; William Trite Local Conservative 1148.
Upwey and Broadwey (Lib Dem) – Jan Bergman Local Conservative 317; David Northam Lib Dem 710; Byron Silver Labour 242.
 (3 seats. Con x 3) – John Baxter UK Independence Party 220; Toni Coombs Local Conservative 1918; Lindsey Dedden Lib Dem 857; Spencer Flower Local Conservative 1765; Simon Gibson Local Conservative 2006; Ginette Holdroyd Lib Dem 579; Ted Mason Lib Dem 707; Sandra Turner Labour 487.
Wareham (2 seats. Lib Dem x2) – Beryl Ezzard Lib Dem 1879; Ryan Holloway Lib Dem 1710; David Law Labour ; Jane Newell Local Conservative 632; Victoria Stocqueler Local Conservative 617.
West Moors & Three Legged Cross (2 seats. Con x2)- Steven Anzinger-Cooper Independent 239; Peter Durant Lib Dem 621; Malcolm Hobbs Independent 273; David Shortell Local Conservative 1056; Andy Skeats Local Conservative 1054; Sally Walls Lib Dem 713.
West Parley (Con ) – Marlies Koustaal Lib Dem 139; Ann Miller Independent 152; Andrew Parry Local Conservative 564.
West Purbeck (2 seats. Con x 2) – Michael Baker Lib Dem 1245; Laura Beddow Local Conservative 962; David Civil Lib Dem 929; Peter Green Labour 300; David Peden Labour 171; Peter Wharf Local Conservative 835.
Westham (2 seats. Lib Dem x 2) – Alex Fuhrmann Lib Dem 684; Lucy Hamilton Labour 438; Ryan Hope Lib Dem 708; Christine James Independent 272; Alexander McGlynn Local Conservative 255; Jon Rodd Labour 320; Thomas Tannassee Local Conservative 175.
Wimborne Minster (2 seats. Lib Dem x 2) Mike Bartlett Local Conservative 451; Shane Bartlett Lib Dem 1161; Sue Cook Local Conservative 493; David Morgan Lib Dem 1067; Ashley Rowlands Labour 283.
Winterborne & Broadmayne (Lib Dem) – Graham Brant Reform UK 142; Mark Penfold Local Conservative 314; Roland Tarr Lib Dem 747.
Winterborne North (Con 41.9%) – Barrie Cooper Lib Dem 663; Steve O’Connell Local Conservative 444; Haydn White Labour 107.
Yetminster (Con) – Diane Howell Local Conservative 752; Chris Kippax Lib Dem 813; Stuart Martin Green 139.

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