Independent candidate wins district council seat in Brandon by-election

Forest Heath Council office in Mildenhall

Forest Heath Council office in Mildenhall - Credit: Archant

The new district councillor for Brandon has been announced following a by-election.

Victor Lukaniuk will be the new Forest Heath district councillor for Brandon West ward.

The West Suffolk Independent candidate won 220 of the 767 votes cast in yesterday's by-election, giving the group its fifth district councillor in Forest Heath.

UKIP candidate Ian Smith got 197 votes, independent candidate Eddie Stewart got 180 and Conservative candidate Tony Simmons got 161.

Mr Lukaniuk said he was 'delighted' with the results.

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'The intention is to improve the appearance of Brandon,' he said.

'I think at district level it's not about political parties, it's about how the town looks and functions. When I talk to people it's all about local issues.'

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Simon Cole, chair of the West Suffolk Independents, said: 'What the group tries to do is to let people know that the independent candidate they're voting for is someone who will represent them, someone who know the local issues, has an idea of how to solve them and can find a way to do it.

'It has shown people that voting for an independent candidate is not a wasted vote, and that is a good thing at this level of government.'

Former district councillor and serving Brandon town councillor Mr Stewart said: 'I'm disappointed, but I will still keep fighting for my town.

'The people of Brandon wanted a fresh face, and they voted for one – that is what democracy is all about.'

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