Elections '09 - Lib Dems retain district and town seats in by-election

Liberal Democrats have claimed victory in two by-elections prompted by the death of Cllr Tony Rosser in April.

The party retained the seats on both Derbyshire Dales District Council and Matlock Town Council, following last Thursday's votes.

Former Matlock mayor Cate Hopkinson will represent Matlock St Giles ward on the district council. Cllr Hopkinson gained 825 votes, above Conservative candidate Barry Tipping with 689 and independent candidate Alan Bower on 406.

Cllr Hopkinson said: "It's a bit emotional for me as the reason we're here is because of the sad death of Tony, who was a great councillor but also a friend of mine. But I'm very pleased and hope I can do his memory proud."

Liberal Democrat Ian Milne will represent Riber and Starkholmes on Matlock Town Council. Cllr Milne gained 210 votes, ahead of Conservative candidate Vivienne Smith on 88 and independent candidate Alan Bower on 61.

Mr Milne said: "It's been a very steep learning curve for me as four weeks ago I knew nothing about elections and then two weeks ago I started knocking on doors, so I must thank my Liberal colleagues for helping me achieve this."

The counting took place at Wirksworth Leisure Centre on Friday.