Labour wins Crawley by-election in Southgate to increase council majority

Bob Noyce and Michael Jones celebrate Labour's by-election winBob Noyce and Michael Jones celebrate Labour's by-election win
Bob Noyce and Michael Jones celebrate Labour's by-election win
Crawley’s newest councillor has paid tribute to his predecessor and pledged to live up to his ‘high standards’.

Bob Noyce (Labour) won Thursday’s Southgate by-election with 938 votes, seeing off Jan Tarrant (Conservative) who took 790 votes and Richard Kail (Green) who took 144.

He said: “It’s been a great campaign and I have thoroughly enjoyed speaking to Southgate people, who have been friendly and welcoming throughout.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I look forward to working hard for them on the council, and it’s a huge privilege to do so.

“I will have high standards to live up to.

“My predecessor, Mike Pickett, is enormously respected and has an extensive track record of success.

“If I can achieve anything approaching what he has, I will be very proud indeed.”

Mr Pickett won the Southgate seat during a 2014 by-election, being re-elected in 2016 and 2019.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ill-health left him unable to attend a council meeting for six consecutive months.

In line with the Local Government Act 1972, his absence meant he could no longer serve as a councillor.

The by-election came only weeks after the local elections and cost the council around £7,000 to run.

When asked why it could not have been held on May 5, alongside the local elections, a spokesman said: “At the time when Mike Pickett ceased to be a councillor, it was too late to add that vacant Southgate ward seat to the local elections already taking place.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Due to the legislative provisions around the notice required for calling elections, it could not be accommodated.”

Mr Noyce’s victory now gives Labour a 19-17 majority on the council.

Leader Michael Jones said: “I am delighted to welcome Bob as Crawley’s newest borough councillor with this convincing win and I wish him much success serving his residents in Southgate.

“The result is a continuing vote of confidence that local people have in their Labour council here in Crawley as well as a further rejection of the disgraceful record of the national Tory government and the behaviour of Boris Johnson, in particular.

“That Labour has now increased its majority on the council is both good for the borough and for the running of the council going forward.”

Related topics: