New councillor chosen in Hailsham Town Council by-election

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A new councillor to fill the seat on Hailsham Town council left vacant by the former town mayor has been chosen by Hailsham residents.

Just three votes separated Hailsham’s newest councillor Amanda O’Rawe with her nearest rival in the hotly contested by-election.

It was held to fill the vacant seat on the South & West ward left after the shock departure of Jeff Bentley-Astor last October.

The Conservative secured 333 votes, beating Independent Jack Hulbert to second place and Labour’s Steven Cross who gained 131 votes.

The by-election turnout was 794 - 12.19 per cent of the 6512 ballot papers issued.

Ms O’ Rawe said that among her reasons for applying to become a town councillor was “to make Hailsham a better place to live”.

She said: “I’ve always wanted to become more involved in the community and, now that I’ve been elected on to the Town Council, I will do all I can to help make Hailsham prosper and become an attractive town not only to visitors and new businesses,but also for our residents.

“This is my town, I feel very privileged to live here and look forward to taking part in its future success.”

Her election now brings the Council’s membership back to 24 town councillors -17 of which are Conservatives.

The Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Jo Bentley said: “I am delighted Amanda has taken this ward.

“She was a fine candidate and I am sure she will work hard to improve the quality of life for Hailsham residents and promote close links between the Council and the people it serves.”

“I look forward to working with Amanda and wish her every success as a town councillor.”

Ms O’ Rawe will hold office until the normal election of all councillors in May 2015.