THE first councillors on the new Christchurch Town Council and Highcliffe and Walkford Neighbourhood Council have been elected.

Following counting on Friday, held at the same time as votes for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, the two organisations’ first representatives have been chosen.

Both of the new councils were set up by Christchurch council in a bid to ensure that people living in Christchurch still have a voice in issues including planning and better control of the mayoralty.

Only one of the three wards, Highcliffe and Walkford, on the new neighbourhood council required an election with the other two wards having fewer candidates than there were seats available.

Independent Nigel Brooks received the most (1,093) votes and was voted in alongside self-described Zig-Zag Fighter Bob Hutchins and independent Andy Martin who received 939 and 782 votes respectively.

For Christchurch Town Council, elections took place in each of the five wards to choose its first 19 representatives.

In Friars Cliff, independent and the last mayor of Christchurch council, Lesley Dedman received 896 votes and was elected with Paul Hilliard (770 votes) with former councillor Claire Bath missing out in third.

Three independents, Janet Abbott, David Jones and Simon McCormack, were elected in the Grange ward.

The Jumpers and St Catherine’s ward will be represented by two independents, Colin Bungey and Fred Neale; two Liberal Democrats, Fiona Cox and Carol Gardiner; and two councillors, Sue Fotheringham and Sue Spittle, who had no political allegiance listed on ballot papers.

Two more independents, Gillian Jarvis and Grace Polson will represent people living in Mudeford and Stanpit after receiving 603 and 575 votes respectively.

The final six seats in the Priory ward will be filled by independents Sue Bungey, Avril Coulton and Tom Lane; Liberal Democrats Mike Cox and Michael Tarling and Wendy Grace representing Keeping Christchurch Special.

None of the other parish councils in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council area required elections.