Stunning achievement in by-elelction

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I refer to the recent borough council by-election held in the Burnhams ward.

Through your letters column I would like to congratulate Sam Sandell on her really quite

stunning result.

On a reasonable turnout for a by-election she won 374 votes (75.7 per cent) in a straight fight with UKIP, who polled 103 votes (20.9 per cent).

Although UKIP threw everything they had at the by-election, Sam and her team campaigned hard on local issues that really matter to parishioners eg sea defences, rural planning, car parking and tourism.

UKIP did not appear to want to engage on these vital local issues and their candidate did not seem to have much knowledge of the villages in the ward.

It was also a great pity that this was a straight fight between ourselves and UKIP, because all main parties really should put up candidates in by-elections.

When I was canvassing in Burnham Market I met a number of Labour voters who were very cross that they had no candidate to support, so it was not surprising that there were quite a few spoiled ballot papers.

Obviously the Liberal Democrats have a reasonable excuse for not putting up candidates as they are our official coalition partners in national Government, but it was a very poor judgement on Labour’s part not to field a candidate.

Would it not be far better if some of their key activists spent less time writing letters to our outstanding local paper and more time engaging the public in what was obviously a key local test of public opinion?

Henry Bellingham MP

North West Norfolk