Meet the opposition members

Five of the six opposition councillors (from left) Gavin Booth (Parson Drove), Michael Bucknor (Waterlees ward), David Patrick (Kirkgate ward), Virginia Bucknor (Waterlees ward), Rob Skoulding (March West).
Five of the six opposition councillors (from left) Gavin Booth (Parson Drove), Michael Bucknor (Waterlees ward), David Patrick (Kirkgate ward), Virginia Bucknor (Waterlees ward), Rob Skoulding (March West).

A SHOCK defeat for the Tories in Wisbech’s Waterlees Ward means there are now four independent councillors on Fenland Council.

Husband and wife team, Michael and Virginia Bucknor, took the two Waterlees seats putting their success in beating sitting Tory councillors David Wheeler and Ray Griffin down to their unrelenting canvassing of the ward.

Mrs Bucknor - a former Labour Parlimentary candidate for the area - served on Fenland in the early 1990s.

The Bucknors recently spearheaded a successful campaign to improve safety along a notorious stretch of the A1101.

They are planning to hold regular surgeries so constituents can air their problems and a website will enable residents to track progress of any complaints made.

They said they would maintain an independent stance and would not oppose anything just for the sake of it.

Fellow independent Rob Skoulding - son of the late March businessman Peter Skoulding - snatched one of March West’s three seats.

He was delighted and a little surprised by his success claiming he expected to come in fourth or even fifth place.

His father was a Conservative councillor for many years, but Mr Skoulding said he did not believe in politics in local government and promised to use ‘common sense’ to tackle issues.

Mark Archer - who at one time was Fenland’s only opposition councillor was returned as the member for Manea increasing his majority from the previous election.

He paid tribute to his rival Conservative James Carney, and said he was looking forward to working with the other newly elected opposition councillors.

Liberal Democrat David Patrick, who was Fenland’s only other existing opposition councillor was equally delighted to be back and was happy to be joined by fellow Liberal Democrat Gavin Booth, who snatched one of the Parson Drove and Wisbech St Mary’s wards two seats knocking serving Tory councillor Steve Tierney into third place.

He hopes to make road safety a key issue.