NORTHWICH’S newest town councillor is hoping to help restore faith in local democracy after he won a by-election on Thursday.
Andrew Cooper won a seat on Northwich Town Council’s Bridge ward with 64 per cent of the vote, but a total of 449 votes cast means the turnout was just 9.5 per cent.
Each by-election costs the public purse £7,000, which equates to £15.59 per vote on this particular occasion.
Andrew, who stood as the Labour candidate, said: “I’m hugely grateful to each and every person who was able to vote, particularly those who managed to do so later on in the cold, the dark and the wet.
“I’m sure this time of year with Christmas on people’s minds, the cold weather and the short daylight hours played its part.
“I understand the turnout amongst people who voted by post was much higher at 43 per cent, suggesting that when people are given ways to vote at their convenience many will do so.
“There’s no doubt that many people are generally disillusioned and feel disconnected with politics though.
“The onus is on all politicians and to some extent the local press to let people know abou tthe many positive things town councils do.
“Hopefully we can restore faith and inspire people to support local democracy.”
Andrew, who lives in Davenham, has been interested in local politics since he did work experience at Bootle Town Hall as a 14-year-old schoolboy.
He was inspired to stand for Northwich Town Council because of his belief in the importance of serving the community and wish to make a difference.
“Aside from a general desire to try to improve and revitalise Northwich, recently I’ve felt that for all the improvement work going on in the town, there has not been enough community involvement in how the town is changing and how people want it to change,” he said.
“This has led to a lot of bad feeling in some quarters – particularly around the gyratory system – which isn’t good for the town.
“I will work with my council colleagues to represent the views of the community and to try to secure the best and fairest deal for Northwich we can from Cheshire West and Chester Council and the government.”