Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Tunbridge Wells scoreboard

2021 Conservative lose to no overall control, change from 2019

Counting complete. After 19 of 19 seats declared.

Change compared with 2019
  1. Conservative

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 9
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change -6
    • Councillors overall total 24
  2. Liberal Democrat

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 7
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change +4
    • Councillors overall total 13
  3. Independent

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 1
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change +1
    • Councillors overall total 6
  4. Labour

    • Councillors elected in 2021 total 2
    • Councillors elected in 2021 change +1
    • Councillors overall total 5
  1. Council leader defeated by protest party

    Caitlin Webb

    Local Democracy Reporter

    The Conservative leader of Tunbridge Wells council has been defeated by a new party set up in protest to a multi-million pound development.

    David Jukes lost out to Lucy Willis of the Tunbridge Wells Alliance (TWA) by more than 400 votes in a shock result.

    TWA gained five seats in total which has been seen as a symbol of support against £90m plans for a theatre and council offices in Caverley Square.

    Compulsory Purchase Orders for the project have been approved by planning inspectorate Graham Dudley due to a “compelling case in public interest”.

    Chairman of the TWA, Bob Atwood, previously ran the council with the Conservatives before he was ousted in 2012.

    He said the result illustrates how people are feeling "discontented" with their existing councillors, mostly because of the theatre project.

    The Lib Dems also took five seats from the Conservatives. Despite losing 12 seats, the Tories have maintained control as only a third of the seats were up for grabs.

  2. Third Tory council leader loses seat

    A third Conservative council leader has lost his seat in Kent.

    Swale Borough Council leader Andrew Bowles was defending his position on Boughton & Courtenay ward, where two seats were up for grabs. The Tories lost both to the Green Party.

    Canterbury's Simon Cook lost his seat in Kent. And John Jukes, the Conservative head of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, was also eased out, falling to Lucinda Willis, of the Tunbridge Wells Alliance.

    The Tories still have overall control, but with a majority slashed from 32 to eight as the alliance and other independents, together with the Liberal Democrats, made substantial gains.

  3. Tories win seat after tied result in Tunbridge Wells

    Drama at Tunbridge Wells, where they had to draw lots to determine the winner of the Paddock Wood West seat.

    Conservative Matthew Bailey and Labour's Raymond Moon both received the same number of votes - 289 - but Mr Bailey was elected after the pair drew lots.

    The Tories have regained control of the borough council, although not all results are yet in.

  4. Canterbury council leader out but Tories still safe in Tunbridge Wells

    The Conservatives, who have a healthy majority in Tunbridge Wells, have retained control of the council.

    But Conservative Canterbury City Council leader Simon Cook has lost his seat.

    The full result there is not expected until later.

  5. New rubbish collections could have 'teething problems'

    Caitlin Webb

    Local Democracy Reporter

    A new waste contractor has admitted there will be "teething problems" when their service begins.

    Urbaser has been hired by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to collect wheelie bins from the road side.

    The company would be taking over the street cleansing services from 1 March in Tonbridge and a month later at Tunbridge Wells, with around 99% of existing staff set to continue working for the service despite the change in employer.

    Contract manager for Urbaser, Dan Dibdin, said: "We are aware it's a difficult period for the staff as it's a transition from one company to the next. We anticipate a few teething problems on the first week once we get those down, we intend to start moving forward to find ways to actually improve the contract."

  6. Crackdown on careless bins

    Caitlin Webb

    Local Democracy Reporter

    Residents in Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells could be fined or sent to court for constantly leaving their wheelie bins on the road.

    Wheelie bins

    Collection will also be restricted to no further than 10 meters from where the rubbish truck passes on the road.

    This is according to a council report, which was presented at Tonbridge and Malling Boroug Council's street scene and environment services advisory board on 11 February.

    Wheelie bins

    Dan Dibdin from the new contractor, Urbaser, said the staff will receive training and cameras will be installed on the vehicles to ensure regulations are met.

    Urbaser has been hired by Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells councils for a new service which includes collecting food waste, textiles and batteries from outside residents' homes.

  7. Tunbridge Wells arts money bid

    Caitlin Webb

    Local Democracy Reporter

    Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has applied for a grant up to £7m from the Arts Council. It wants to use the money to show off the area and promote the local communities.

    The funding comes from a mixture of central government and National Lottery funds.

    It is part of the borough council's cultural strategy for Tunbridge Wells to be "nationally recognised for its cultural provision" by 2024.

    Tunbridge Wells
  8. Councils accused of charging for non-existent parking spaces

    Lucy Vladev

    Reporter, BBC South East Today

    Councils in the South East are making thousands of pounds charging residents for permits even though there aren't enough spaces to park cars.

    Video content

    Video caption: Councils in South East accused of using parking permits as a 'stealth teax'
  9. Political analysis of local elections in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells

    Rajdeep Sandhu

    Political Reporter, BBC Radio Kent

    Polling station in Tunbridge Wells

    Neither the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats were confident in taking control of Maidstone council. It was a tight race with 22 councillors each.

    As results started coming in fast, it became apparent quickly neither would get the numbers for an overall majority.

    The Liberal Democrats were left disappointed while Conservatives were not only relieved to not lose seats but cheering and whooping at the three gains.

    Maidstone is a committee system and now there will be talks as to who takes the helm.

    The Conservatives as the largest party could take the leadership, but every councillor gets a vote on the leadership so they’ll need to get help from three councillors from other parties or the independents.

    As predicted, Tunbridge Wells stayed blue.

    But there was a shocking win for the new kids on the block - the Tunbridge Wells Alliance.

    The Liberal Democrats also took a seat from the Conservatives and Labour held its seat.

    The win from the new party shows the strength of feeling against plans to develop a new theatre and civic centre in the middle of the town.

    Now the party has a seat, expect to hear much more about that development.

  10. Conservatives hold Tunbridge Wells

    Sue Nicholson

    BBC News

    The Conservative Party has held on to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council where a third of the seats were up for election.

    It lost two seats - one to the Liberal Democrats and another to a new independent group, the Tunbridge Wells Alliance.

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