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See the original story on the EP website

By Sam Rkaina, Local Government Reporter


THERE are eight new councillors serving the people of Bristol following last week’s local elections.

Six of them are fresh faces, as they have never served on the city council before.

There are also two former councillors who have been re-elected after several years away from the authority.

The new blood includes Gus Hoyt for the Green Party, who took one of the Ashley seats from the Liberal Democrats.

New Ashley councillor Green Gus Hoyt

Ashley had the highest turnout with more than 49 per cent and Mr Hoyt polled more than 2,200 votes – the largest number for any of the 24 successful candidates.

Mr Hoyt told the Evening Post he had received 1,000 emails within 24 hours of winning the seat.

He said: “I certainly hit the road running with a meeting with the police then parents concerned about primary school places.”

Labour has six new councillors after a successful night in which they won four extra seats.

Mahmadur Khan took the Eastville seat from former Councillor Muriel Cole, after 12 years of Lib Dem rule.

It was the first time the 40-year-old restaurant manager from Eastville had ever stood for election.

New Eastville councillor, Labour's Mahmadur Khan

He said: “I would like to say to the people of Eastville that they have trusted me and I will do my best to serve them.”

New Lawrence Hill councillor, Labour's Margaret Hickman

Margaret Hickman beat Lib Dem candidate Abdul Malik for the Lawrence Hill seat, which was previously held by Lib Dem Sue O’Donnell.

She said: “I’m looking forward to being the councillor for Lawrence Hill and sharing it with Brenda (Hugill, the other Labour councillor for the ward). I look forward to doing more work with people in the community.”

Barry Clark beat Lib Dem Jos Clark to take the Hengrove seat, after 15 years of Lib Dem control.

It was the fourth time the 42-year-old IT administrator from Hengrove had stood for election.

He said: “I have the advantage of living in the ward, I know the people and I know the problems and hopefully that’s the trust the people of Hengrove have given me.”

New Hengrove councillor, Labour's Barry Clark

Phil Hanby held the Hillfields seat for Labour, after previous councillor Martin Golding decided to spend more time with his young family.

New Hillfields councillor, Labour's Phil Hanby

Another first time winner, Mr Hanby is a sales advisor who lives in the ward.

Mike Langley held the Brislington East seat for the party after the previous Labour councillor Simon Crew stood down from local politics.

He is returning to the council after previously representing Frome Vale between 1990 and 1996.

The 55-year-old retired bus driver from Fishponds said Mr Crew will be a hard act to follow. When he was announced as the winner on Friday morning he joked that it was the only time he had been at Ashton Gate and wanted the blues to lose.

And in St George West, Peter Hammond won back the seat that Labour had lost to the Lib Dems‘ Tony Potter, after former councillor John Deasey passed away in 2008. Mr Hammond was re-elected as leader at the party’s AGM on Saturday, replacing former leader Helen Holland.

New St George West councillor, Peter Hammond

New Brislington East councillor, Labour's Mike Langley

Speaking as he won the seat, Mr Hammond said: “I am very pleased on a personal note to be the occupant of the seat once occupied by the late John Deasey who was a personal friend of mine, highly regarded by the electorate and if nothing else it will be my objective to live up to the standards he set as a local councillor.”

While the Lib Dems didn’t win any new seats on election night, one new member has replaced a councillor who stepped down before campaigning started. Christian Martin, takes over from Mike Popham as the representative for Clifton East. The 41-year-old film maker from Montpelier has been a party activist for 18 years but this is the first time he’s been a councillor.

He said: “I think it’s rather fitting I have retained a seat for the Lib Dems as a new candidate when the press are writing us off.”

The new council is due to sit for the first time on Tuesday at 2pm.

Click here to see videos of councillor’s acceptance speeches on election night

New Clifton East councillor, Christian Martin

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