A BY-ELECTION to replace former council leader Peter Halliday has seen the Conservatives hold on to the seat.

Mr Halliday quit as Tendring Council boss and ward councillor at a public meeting in December after hitting out at some of his Tory colleagues. He branded them “deceiving, lying individuals”.

The seat for the St John’s ward was contested by Conservative Mick Skeels, as well as UKIP’s Laurie Gray, Labour’s Norman Jacobs, and independent Clive Upton.

It was won by Mr Skeels, who was previously a district councillor for Little Clacton and Weeley and county councillor for Tendring Rural East, with 423 votes – a majority of 151.

A second by-election also took place on Thursday to replace the vacant seat left death of Conservative Mitch Mitchell, who died, aged 77, in November following a heart attack.

The four candidates were Lib Dem John Candler, Tory Sara Richardson, Labour’s Jon Salisbury and UKIP’s Sue Shearing. Mrs Richardson won the seat with 271 votes - a majority of 91.

By holding both the seats it means there is no change in the political make-up of Tendring Council with the ruling Tory Party holding 33 of the 60 seats.

It is expected that new Conservative group leader Mick Page will be voted in as leader of the council at a meeting on Tuesday night.


Peter Bruff ward: Sarah Richardson (Con) 271 (elected), Jonathan Salisbury (Lab) 180, Susan Shearing (UKIP) 153, John Candler (Lib Dem) 108. Turnout: 20.07 per cent, Majority: 91.

St John’s ward: Mick Skeels (Con) 423 (elected), Norman Jacobs (Lab) 272, Laurence Gray (UKIP) 208, Clive Upton (Ind) 49. Turnout: 23.41 per cent, Majority: 151.