Leader loses his seat as Conservatives lose overall control of Cambs County Council

Former Cambridgeshire County Council leader Nick Clarke.

Former Cambridgeshire County Council leader Nick Clarke. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire County Council leader Nick Clarke described the loss of his own seat in this week's local elections as being 'what democracy is all about' as his ruling Conservative group lost overall control in the wake of a UKIP onslaught.

With five of the 11 Fenland seats turning to UKIP, and big gains elsewhere, the Tories saw their tally of councillors drop from 39 to 32, meaning Cambridgeshire is officially a 'hung' council.

Mr Clarke blamed living 13 miles away from his Fulbourn seat for his loss and said although doorstep feedback had been gone 'more people have voted for someone else'.

It was a decisive victory in his division for Lib Dem John Williams who polled 1,180 votes compared to 848 for Cllr Clarke.

Mr Clarke was uncertain about his future in local politics - he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this afternoon he had arrived home, put on a pair of shorts and was going to work on his hanging baskets in the garden.

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Meanwhile his victorious opponent Mr Williams blamed Mr Clarke's woes on the campaign to get local councils to fund improvements to the A14.

'The clear message is local people do not want local taxes spent on a national road,' he said.

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Mr Williams said the A14 was a Trans European trunk road and most traffic – including a fifth of it heavy goods vehicles heading from the ports to the East Midlands - was not associated with Cambridgeshire.

'It is not fair for the county council to ask local people to fund national infrastructure projects,' he said.

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