SUPPORTERS of the Southborough Hub development were buoyed by the result of a Town Council by-election last Thursday (February 9) which saw the pro-hub Conservatives retain the ward.
The by-election for Southborough North was seen as a proxy vote on the scheme, which will result in the demolition of the Royal Victoria Hall theatre.
Liberal Democrat Allen Lear had hoped to capitalise on perceived discontent in the town over the scheme, which received final planning approval in December.
However, Conservative Ian Kinghorn retained the traditionally safe seat, with 444 votes, representing 60 per cent of the total. No other parties contested the ward.
Said Cllr Kinghorn : “The by-election came about as a result of the resignation of estate agent Bill LeGrys and need not have been held until the May 2017 elections had it not been for the Liberal Democrats.
“They forced a one off election at a cost of £5,000 to Southborough rate payers which could have been best spent on the Hub development.” It’s thought poor weather may have played a part in the depressing turnout, which was recorded at 23 per cent of those eligible to vote.