A FORMER vice-chairman has returned to Tendring Council following a by-election to replace a councillor who quit “by mistake”.

Conservative candidate Sue Honeywood was elected as the new councillor for Clacton’s St Paul’s ward after gaining 378 votes.

Mrs Honeywood previously represented the town’s neighbouring Pier ward but lost her seat at the district council elections in 2015 following a surge in support for Ukip.

Following her election on Thursday, Mrs Honeywood said: “I’m proud to be elected to represent St Pauls ward. It’s a privilege.

“I would like to thank those residents who put their trust in me and assure all residents that I will be putting their concerns and the St Paul’s ward first.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Elected - Conservative candidate Sue Honeywood won the by-election for the St Paul's ward

The St Paul’s ward seat had been left vacant following the resignation of Jack Parsons.

Mr Parsons accidentally sent a draft resignation email to Tendring Council’s chief executive in the early hours of New Year’s Eve.

Despite sending a second email to retract his resignation, the independent councillor was told it was too late by council chiefs.

Independent candidate Stephen Andrews, who is also the co-owner of FC Clacton, came second at the by-election, gaining 160 votes.

Political activist William Hones, who was also standing as an independent, came third with 134 votes, pushing Labour’s Rosie-Roella Kevlin into fourth place with 114 votes.

Liberal Democrat Keith Pitkin came fifth with 79 votes, while Ukip’s Michael Vaughan-Chatfield gained just 71 votes, despite the party winning the seat in 2015.

The Green Party’s Robert Cockroft came last with just 20 votes.

RESULT (St Paul’s ward by-election): Sue Honeywood (Con) 378*, Stephen Andrews (Ind) 160, William Hones (Ind) 134, Rosie-Roella Kevlin (Lab) 114, Keith Pitkin (Lib Dem) 79, Michael Vaughan-Chatfield (Ukip) 71, Robert Cockroft (Green) 20.

Conservative gain. Majority: 218. Turnout: 25.5%

* = Denotes elected councillor