Tories take control of Cornwall
Newly-elected Conservative councillors Jordan Rowse (left) and Richard Pears (right) with St Austell and Newquay Conservative MP Steve Double outside the count at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge.
12th May 2021
By Natasha Swift
The Liberal Democrat and Independent coalition that has run Cornwall Council for the last four years suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Conservatives in the local elections.
With changes to electoral boundaries and the reduction of councillors from 123 to 87, the Conservatives needed 44 seats to take control – and they won 47.
There were gains for Mebyon Kernow and Labour which will each have five councillors for the new term and the Green Party will have its first councillor in the Council Chamber.
Jordan Rowse was one of several Conservatives to unseat political veterans, in his case St Austell’s Liberal Democrat group leader Malcolm Brown. Cllr Rowse said: “I still can’t believe it. To get elected is a huge honour and to be elected with such a big majority is just surreal.
“I have been blown away by all the support and must say a huge thank you to all 1,176 who voted for me – giving me a majority of 848.
“This result clearly shows that it was time for change in St Austell.
“I now need to work hard to deliver that change. The residents in Bethel and Holmbush have my word that I will do absolutely all that I can to represent them as best as I can.
“I’ve grown up in the town, live in the town and worked in the town centre.
“I know the issues we have and see them every day. I want to be able to bring my children up in St Austell – I want them to be inspired by the town that they live in and, most of all, I want them to be safe.
“I want St Austell to be the best possible place to live, work and grow up in.
“My inbox is already full with questions and queries, so I look forward to rolling my sleeves up and cracking on.
“I have a track record of delivery in Par and St Blazey and I absolutely intend to do the same in St Austell.”
Councillor Brown said: “All good things have to come to an end at some point. I have enjoyed being first a Restormel Borough Councillor and then a Cornwall Councillor for all but four years since 1987. However, the election result was decisive and I wish Jordan Rowse well in representing the new Bethel and Holmbush division in future.
“I claim to have worked hard and achieved many things in my time but I have been cautious during the pandemic and did not get across to residents effectively what I had been doing.”
He continued: “I am proud of what the Liberal Democrat and Independent administration achieved and I am confident that our time will come again.
“For now good luck to Cornwall Council but I will continue to be a St Austell Town Councillor and will be scrutinising closely what they do across Cornwall and locally.”