Dave Mansell has become only the second elected Green councillor in the history of the borough of Taunton Deane yesterday after winning a by-election in the ward of Wiveliscombe and West Deane.
Dave won by a clear majority
Green – 600 (44.7%)
LD – 389 (29%)
Con – 352 (26%)
The ward has been represented by two independents since 1974 and the by-election was called when one of them resigned because of a new job. Both of them decided to support Dave. He had already shown his independent spirit on Wiveliscombe Town Council which he had joined about a year previously.
Dave sensibly joined the Association of Green Councillors back in summer 2017 shortly after he joined the town council and ordered the How to Win Local Elections manual which he has closely perused.
Dave said: “It’s been an incredibly hard-fought campaign. The LDs in particular threw everything at it, including frequent canvassing by Gideon Amos (LD parliamentary candidate), phone canvassing and growing numbers of poster-boards all over. The Tories tried hard too with Rebecca Pow MP out in the parishes today (Thursday 5 April) knocking up their voters. Both had what looked like professional teams of canvassers in the ward and LD Councillors from all over Somerset and some Tories too have been here doing their bit on the doorsteps.”
He said his support was much stronger in Wivey town than in the parishes outside.
“I am most grateful for support given by the Independent Councillors previously elected here (Steve and Eddie) and from other leading figures in the local community (Pauline, Julian and more).
“And I am very very grateful to all of you who helped with the campaign by delivering leaflets, putting up posters and talking to your friends and neighbours. Wiveliscome has shown again that it is a special and wonderful community.”
Dave is not quite the first ever Green on the borough council because in the mid 1990s Alan Debenham held a seat first as an Independent Green and then as a Green.