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New Liberal Democrat candidate wins South Kesteven District Council by-election

A new district councillor has taken up their seat following a by-election.

Murray Turner, a Liberal Democrat candidate, won a by-election yesterday to become the newest South Kesteven District Councillor for the Toller ward, which covers Billingborough and Folkingham.

Yesterday's (December 15) by-election was called following the resignation of independent Councillor Jan Hansen, who criticised a culture of "bullying and intimidation".

Councillor Murray Turner. (61369338)
Councillor Murray Turner. (61369338)

Councillor Turner received 256 of the votes, beating Conservative candidate, Tony Vaughan, who received 170.

Just over 20 per cent of the ward's electorate turned out to vote.

Councillor Turner, aged 58, has lived in Billingborough for almost 19 years, and is chair of the village cricket club.

He has also sat on Billingborough Parish Council for just over a year, while working as a telecommunications professional.

Coun Turner said: "I'm delighted [to win] after a cold winter campaign.

"I would like to get better transport links for the local area, including electric charging points.

"I have picked up a few enquiries from local residents while walking around and talking to people."

He added that he had six adult children that keep him quite busy as well.

Councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) said: "It is a great result for us, but we had to work hard and raise awareness of what is going on in our communities.

"Despite the cold weather, we managed to deliver a few leaflets and also our candidate lives in the community of Billingborough and being a local candidate, one knows what is needed and can better represent its community."

A spokesperson for Grantham and Stamford Liberal Democrats said: "As a group, we are of course very happy that Councillor Murray Turner has been elected.

"A strong opposition helps any council by bringing additional perspective and scrutiny to the decision-making process.

"It also reflects what we have seen on the doorstep. i.e., that although our area is known for being Conservative, some of the more centralist voters are looking for an alternative that better matches their beliefs.

"The Lib Dems have always been the centre party and so attract these voters. I see this trend continuing as our voice becomes louder at council."

District Councillor Amanda Wheeler (Lib Dem) tweeted: "Brilliant news! Well done Murray! Great to have you join the team."

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