Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Elections 2022: ‘It’s a vote of confidence in Lib Dems - and now we’ll oust MP’ says South Cambridgeshire District Council leader





Cllr Bridget Smith says the Liberal Democrats’ success in the South Cambridgeshire District Council elections was of national significance - and predicted the ousting of Tory MP Anthony Browne at the next General Election.

The party increased its number of councillors from 30 to 37 after voters went to the polls on Thursday.

Cllr Smith, the Liberal Democrat leader of the council, said it was “fantastic” to have replicated the “massive victory” the party had in the last elections in 2018.

Cllr Bridget Smith at the 2022 South Cambridgeshire District Council election count. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cllr Bridget Smith at the 2022 South Cambridgeshire District Council election count. Picture: Keith Heppell

She said: “We’ve done it again. We’ve taken an extra seven seats, which is probably the most significant in the country, I don’t really know what has been going on elsewhere, but this has got to be a big deal nationally.

“I’m thrilled, it’s a vote of confidence in us as the Liberal Democrat administration at South Cambridgeshire, it’s a vote of confidence in the fantastic candidates we have had, who all have proven track records within their communities in really delivering for the people who vote there.

“And also in the Liberal Democrat party as a whole, who we know are at their very best at community level, so a big vote of confidence and it has turned into more seats.”

Cllr Smith, who retained her seat in Gamlingay by polling 106 votes more than than Tory hopeful Harriet Gould, said the Liberal Democrats will build on the administration’s “fantastic work” from the previous four years.

The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate Pippa Heylings was also re-elected to the district council.

Lib Dems celebrate in South Cambridgeshire. Picture: Keith Heppell
Lib Dems celebrate in South Cambridgeshire. Picture: Keith Heppell

Cllr Smith said she believed a Lib Dem win in South Cambridgeshire in the next Parliamentary elections is “virtually guaranteed”.

She said: “We have a fantastic Parliamentary candidate in Pippa Heylings and there is a reasonably small majority with the current incumbent, so we will be working hard, but I think that is going to be a reality.”

The Conservatives are now the only opposition on the district council after Labour lost both of its seats.

Leader of the Conservative group, Cllr Heather Williams, was re-elected in The Mordens with an increased share of the votes - last time out, she had a majority of just five votes, but that grew to 127.

Cllr Heather Williams, leader of the Conservatives on South Cambridgeshire District Council. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cllr Heather Williams, leader of the Conservatives on South Cambridgeshire District Council. Picture: Keith Heppell

However, the party saw the number of its councillors decrease from 11 to eight.

Cllr Williams said: “It’s no secret that this was going to be a difficult election for us, there are times when being a member of a political party can really help and it gets you across the line and there are times where it is not so helpful.

“I am incredibly proud of every 45 Conservative candidates in these elections because democracy does not last if you have not got people willing to lose.

The election count at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford . Picture: Keith Heppell
The election count at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford . Picture: Keith Heppell

“I think everybody who has been involved should be very proud of themselves, they have given people a choice and we need to make sure we still give people that choice.”

Questions had been raised in the lead-up to the local elections over whether national issues such as ‘partygate’ would impact people’s voting choice.

Cllr Williams said she believed national issues will have had an impact for some, but not for all.

She said: “We have a very engaged electorate here, some people will even make a conscious decision to vote on a national basis, or make a decision to vote local.

The election count at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford . Picture: Keith Heppell
The election count at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford . Picture: Keith Heppell

“Whatever the national picture is, it always has an impact on local elections, rightly or wrongly, and today is the day where it has not gone in our favour.

“When you lose seats by three votes [like in the Caxton and Papworth ward], it can make the difference.

“Either way I am incredibly proud of those who stood for election alongside me, especially in the circumstances.”

Cllr Williams said the Conservative councillors will continue to hold the administration to account.

She said: “We will take our work seriously, diligently, and do our best for all our residents, whether they voted for us or not, we will do our best by them and hope they will trust us again in the future.”


Read more

Elections 2022: South Cambridgeshire District Council results

Elections 2022: Cambridge City Council results

Live: Cambridgeshire 2022 elections results as they happen



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More