WITH Conservatives no longer holding the majority in Salisbury City Council, newly elected members have celebrated the want for change.

Revealed yesterday, May 9, as part of the Local Election count, the authority is now made up of 11 Conservative, six Labour and six Liberal Democrat councillors and one Independent.

Comparing to the previous Local Election result in 2017, the Conservatives have lost four seats, Labour has gained one, Liberal Democrats gained five and the one Independent seat was retained, but by a different candidate.

READ: The results are in - Your newly elected city council revealed

Salisbury Journal: Infographic courtesy of Richard JohnsonInfographic courtesy of Richard Johnson

Following this result, Annie Riddle, newly elected councillor for west Harnham and the only independent on Salisbury City Council, said: "I'm very honoured that people in west Harnham have trusted me with their votes and have changed the voting habit of a lifetime to do so.

"It feels slightly daunting to be the only independent councillor, but I know I have the support of my fellow independent candidates to rely on, and the members of the 'SOS - Save Our Salisbury' Facebook group will be certain to let me know what people think.

"I can't please people all the time but I will do my best to represent not only the people of Harnham but all of Salisbury."

Talking about the new political makeup of the council, Councillor Riddle said the vote was "fascinating to watch", adding: "In the wards where we [Independents] stood it has changed the balance of power which is very important.

"I intend to remain wholly independent and consider each issue of its own merit."

Main priorities for Cllr Riddle include housing developments, as this is an issue that is "very worrying" for residents, traffic on the roads in both west and east Harnham and the preservation of green spaces.

Salisbury Journal: Annie Riddle, newly elected Independent councillor, Salisbury City Council Annie Riddle, newly elected Independent councillor, Salisbury City Council

With the Liberal Democrats' increase in seats, Samuel and Victoria Charleston, the newly elected Liberal Democrat councillors for the Sarum St Paul's ward, said "there is clearly want for change".

Joking they were "disappointed" to be the second husband and wife elected, following Cllrs Tom and Caroline Corbins' win in Bemerton Heath ward, Samuel and Victoria are looking forward to listening to the people of Salisbury.

Talking to the Journal immediately after their election, Cllr Victoria Charleston said she was "delighted" with the result, adding "there is clearly want for change, we've spoken to an awful lot of people who want something new.

"We're really excited to be working hard with the people of Salisbury and our new colleagues."

Addressing traffic problems and making Salisbury a place for teenagers and young people are just two of the priorities for the pair.

Salisbury Journal: Victoria and Samuel Charleston, newly elected Liberal Democrat councillors, Salisbury City Council Victoria and Samuel Charleston, newly elected Liberal Democrat councillors, Salisbury City Council

A previous council leader, Jeremy Nettle was reelected as a Conservative councillor for Fisherton and Bemerton Village Ward, and was "totally delighted to be reelected".

He added he is "really excited to get back to work representing the voices of the community".

Responding to Conservatives no longer being the majority however, Cllr Nettle said: "I think it will be really exciting, I'm looking forward to having a colourful city council.

"All parties are represented apart from the Green Party, so this is a great opportunity to do something together and share a focus.

"Residents obviously still want to see political representatives so now we all just need to work together.

"I have listened to the public and there are obvious issues, from People Friendly Streets to cycling, we now need to work out as a city what we want to do."

Salisbury Journal: Jeremy Nettle reelected to Salisbury City CouncilJeremy Nettle reelected to Salisbury City Council

Cllr Nettle added that tackling environment issues and the climate emergency will be a focus for all councillors, no matter what their political stance may be.

He said there is lots of potential for the future of the city including becoming plastic free and more recycling.

A personal idea of Cllr Nettle's - once Covid-19 is a thing of the past he would like restaurants to display a 'Food Wastage' rating, similar to food hygiene ratings.

A new council leader, taking over from former Cllr Liz Sirman, who did not stand in this year's election, is yet to be announced.

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