HELEN Groves has won the Highbridge and Burnham Marine Ward by-election.

The Liberal Democrat will take the vacant seat for Sedgemoor District Council, left after Joe Leech, also Lib Dem, stood down last year.

Helen was elected with 379 votes, Bill Hancock (Conservative) had 288, Sally Williams (Independent) received 253, Ricky Holcombe (Labour) had 249 and Purple Watkins (Independent) had 68.

Votes were counted at Highbridge Community Centre last night (January 24), where a turnout of 22.1% braved temperatures of -3C (26.6F).

Helen told the Weekly News: “I’m so grateful to all those people who made an effort to brave the cold and vote. The people of Highbridge and Burnham Marine have always been so good to me and I will do everything possible to make sure they have a strong voice.

“I would also like to thank everyone for standing in the by-election and giving people a choice, especially because winter elections are always particularly challenging.”

She said people feel Highbridge is not really being supported in the way they would like. She added: “I can’t promise we’ll achieve everything but they will always have someone fighting their corner.”

Residents have raised concerns over development and infrastructure in the area – raising the issue of the need to support new development in relation to what is needed for the community.