Chard Council by-election result

Yesterday there was a by-election for a Chard Town Council seat. Only two candidates stood, Craig Hussey an Independent and Patricia O’Brien for the LibDems. Both the Green Party and Conservatives did not stand candidates.

The background to the election has been fractious. Bullying and a toxic culture have been identified in three separate independent reports. A review by the South Somerset District Council Monitoring Officer into 8 allegations of bullying found “nothing to see here”. There has been a steady trickle of staff leaving the council claiming the toxic culture has led to their decisions. Meanwhile in some cases exit interviews either did not happen, or their transcripts have simply vanished. To be kind, that is at least un helpful in the current environment.

The idea behind an Independent candidate coming forward was in part to try and remove some of the politics from Chard Town Council.

Sadly the by-election itself was an unpleasant affair with claims and counter claims being made. Including a LibDem complaint to the Police about a painting of the Independent candidate!

The results are now in and despite a low turnout (24%) the Independent candidate, Craig Hussey has won. The full result was:

  • Craig Douglas Hussey (Independent) – 249 Elected
  • Patricia Maureen O’Brien (LibDem) – 205


  • I wish more independent candidates would stand, not just in Somerset but all over the country. All the mainstream political parties have failed us. The only way to see real change is to have local representation by local people who put their constituents – not party – first.

  • Good to see democracy working. Chard needs more independent candidates to get rid of the bullies.

  • Party politics have no place in local councils from county level, through district level (if there is one) and down to town/parish level. All councillors should stand as independent candidates, irrespective of the personal affiliations

  • Wish them luck as they entered the bear pit.

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