PAUL Hilliard has been voted the new Mudeford and Friars Cliff ward councillor following a Christchurch by-election.

The Conservative candidate received 629 votes from the by-election, held yesterday.

Independent candidate Sheila Gray received 466 votes; Labour's Julian Spurr received 91; UKIP's Lawrence Wilson had 85 and Fiona Cownie of the Green Party received 72.

The official turnout was 31.6 per cent.

The by-election followed the resignation of councillor Andrew Barfield after it was revealed he had not paid his council tax on time.

Other councillors for the ward are Claire Bath and Trevor Watts.