The leader is re-elected while his conservatives keep control
THE head of Wokingham Borough Council was re-elected while his Conservatives retained control.
John Halsall will now serve a fourth term representing Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe.
He obtained 1,137 votes (63%) against 425 for his closest challenger Martijn Andrea (liberal democrat).
The turnout was 42.15%, almost 10% more than in the last elections in 2016.
Cllr Halsall, who has lived in Remenham for 40 years, said: “I am absolutely delighted – thank you very much to the electorate.
“We hope we can do what we are here to do, which is to improve the lives of our residents.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me and those who did not vote Conservative can be reassured that I will represent them as well.
“We campaigned as much as we could under the restrictions, but when we started the country was in full lockdown, so I really regret not being able to speak to as many voters as possible and not being able to go see people, which is what I normally would, but that was life as it was.
Cllr Halsall, who is married with three grown children, is a chartered accountant who has moved to Remenham from Henley and has been a member of the Remenham Parish Council for over 24 years.
The district of Charvil was also conservative, Sam Akhtar having received 728 votes (59%) in front of Martin Alder (liberal democrat) with 367 votes.
The turnout was 52 percent, the second highest for the council behind the Twyford neighborhood.
Councilor Akhtar replaces Emma Hobbs, who had been a councilor for nine years.
He said: “It was my first time racing and I’m really happy with the result. It is an absolute honor and privilege to be able to represent Charvil. I really want to crack, work with the residents and do a good job.
Cllr Akhtar said he enjoyed campaigning despite the difficulties of the coronavirus restrictions.
He said: “We would only send one person into a household and knock on doors but keep a great distance, so it was safe.
“I really like talking to residents and, standing for the first time, I wanted to introduce myself.
He said he was happy to see young voters for the first time and new residents at the polls.
Cllr Akhtar, who works as a relationship manager, created the Charvil Matters eco-group in the summer of 2019 with the aim of keeping the area clean and tidy.
The Tories won three seats, one each for Labor and Liberal Democrats and one for an Independent. The Lib-Dems won three seats from the Conservatives.
The council now has 31 Tories, 18 Lib Democrats, three Labor and two independents.