The Tories romped to victory in this week’s West Sussex County Council elections, taking all but one seat in Mid Sussex.
The only blemish was in Hassocks and Burgess Hill South, where Lib Dem Kirsty Lord finished in front of her Conservative challenger by just 20 votes.
First-time councillors include Andrew Lea in Lindfield and High Weald, East Grinstead South and Ashurst Wood where Jacquie Russell was elected, and Joy Dennis in Hurstpierpoint and Bolney.
Overall across West Sussex the Tories took 56 of 70 seats at the expense of UKIP.
Sujan Wickremaratchi, re-elected for Haywards Heath Town, called it a ‘fantastic win’, adding: “My thanks go out to all my residents and the Conservative team.
“I will continue to represent my residents and work hard to deliver what my residents elected me for. My sincere gratitude and thanks to all my residents who voted for me and for those that did not I will of course do my very best if ever you need my help and support.
“As Haywards Heath Mayor and county councillor I am honoured to serve you all.”
Stephen Hillier, re-elected as a Tory county councillor for Haywards Heath East, tweeted: “A huge thank you to the outstanding @Mid_Sussex team and our residents Won by astonishing 850 votes! 3yrs hard work happily recognised.”
Meanwhile Ms Lord, who joins a Lib Dem group which has re-established itself as the main opposition at County Hall following the UKIP wipeout, described being thrilled by the ‘nerve-wracking’ result.
She said she was grateful to the people of Hassocks and Burgess Hill South who cast their votes for her.
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