THE widow of a leading councillor who died suddenly has won his seat at a by-election.

Tory councillor Charlie Sambridge, 71, of Burrs Road, Clacton, was taken ill at a Tendring Council cabinet meeting in July following a stroke and died in hospital the following morning.

His widow, Conservative candidate Pam Sambridge, won the by-election for the Burrsville ward with a majority of 228 votes.

The death of Mr Sambridge, who was the authority’s councillor responsible for technical services, triggered a by-election which could have had major consequences for the balance of power on Tendring Council.

All that separates the Conservative administration and the Tendring First-led opposition is the Tory chairman’s casting vote.

If a candidate from the opposition group, which includes the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and independents, had won the by-election then the opposition would have had the upperhand and could have taken control of the authority.

Following the election results, Mrs Sambridge paid tribute to her late husband.

“We have kept Charlie’s ward and will carry on helping people like he did,” she said.

“Charlie was very popular and the people have shown what they thought of him by electing me.”

Mrs Sambridge picked up 455 votes and was followed by former Burrsville Primary School headteacher Joyce O’Brien, who stood for the Liberal Democrats, gaining 227 votes.

Labour Party candidate Max Morris picked up 90 votes and environmentalist Chris Southall, of Burrs Road, standing for the Green Party, came last with 52 votes.

The result means Tendring Council's Tories will remain in control of the authority.


Pam Sambridge* (Con) 455, Joyce O'Brien (Lib Dem) 227, Max Morris (Lab) 90, Chris Southall (Green) 52.

Majority: 228

Turnout: 46%