JEFF Kenner won an historic victory in the Shipston by-election, winning the first Labour seat on Stratford District Council for eight years.

Councillor Kenner won with 613 votes, beating Liberal Democrat Laura Nelson, who polled 575 votes, and Conservatives Marion Lowe, who registered 431 at the by-election last Thursday. The turnout was 39.56 per cent.

He takes over the position vacated by Conservative Jonathan Gullis, who resigned earlier this year.

The resignation of Mr Gullis proved controversial in Shipston as he resigned just three hours too late for the by-election to be held on the same day as the recent PCC elections, which would have saved taxpayers more than £5,000.

This is also the first time in history for Shipston to have a Labour candidate take a seat on the district council.

“I’m delighted and very proud and honoured to be elected,” said Coun Kenner. “My aim is to have a different kind of approach.

“I want to see positive changes for people and see what we can do to help. This is very much a springboard for future Labour [candidates], not just a one-off.”

As an avid supporter of the Ainscough Strategic Land (ASL) planning application proposed for Shipston which includes a supermarket and petrol station, Coun Kenner said that would be one of his top priorities.

“It’s time for the town council and the district council to rethink its position,” he added.

“Shipston has sent a message it’s not just a question of wanting it, it’s a question of people needing it.”

The last Labour councillor on the district council was Carol Pratt, who served for two years after she was elected in May 2002.