Former Ripley town mayor Isobel Harry has won the Amber Valley Borough Council seat for Codnor and Waingroves in convincing style after a by–election.
The grandmother of two, who has lived in the area for more than 40 years, made sure the seat previously held by the late George Parkes stayed in Labour hands with 557 votes - more than half of the 1,065 cast.
Garry Smith, representing UKIP, came in second with 250 votes, Conservative candidate Ron Ashton third with 219 and Lib Dems’ Ketih Falconbridge fourth with 39 votes.
The result marks the first time Cllr Harry, 68, has represented the borough, despite two previous terms on Ripley Town Council
She said: “I’m very honoured, but I’m also very aware of the responsibility people have placed on me.”
The former headteacher, originally from Tumnock in Ayrshire, will be well known to many for her time in the profession, which included a spell at Street Lane School, Denby.
She is now the chairman of the board of governors at Ripley Nursery and a trustee of William Holmes Alms House in the town.
Cllr Harry says she has re-entered the world of local politics to tackle the issues facing the countryside around the two villages. She said: “I’m going to fight for our green spaces and stand up against these buildings that have been promised and the so-called ‘bypass’.” She added: “I just think there is a real east west divide in the borough, I think the towns in the east - Ripley, Heanor and Alfreton, get an unfair deal.”
A Derby County FC season ticket holder, enjoys landscape painting and last served as mayor of Ripley in 2005/06. She said she is prepared to rise to the challenge in filling the shoes of popular councillor Parkes, adding: “I feel a responsibilty to do so.”