John Blackie’s partner elected to fill his district council seat

Independent councillor Jill McMullon has been elected to fill the vacancy in the dstrict council’s Hawes, High Abbotside and Upper Swaledale ward following the death of long-serving councillor John Blackie.

Jill, who was Cllr Blackie’s partner, polled 409 votes for the district council seatb.

She beat Pat Kirkbride (Conservative Party) with 231 votes; and Margaret Lowndes (Green Party) with 57 votes.

The turnout was 46.62 per cent.

The election also saw voters elect Conservative Councillor Yvonne Peacock to the North Yorkshire County Council seat previously held by Cllr Blackie.

The result was announced in the early hours of Friday at Thornborough Hall in Leyburn by the district council’s chief executive Tony Clark amid great tension as it was clear the contest for the seat between the late partner of Cllr Blackie, Jill McMullon, and Cllr Peacock had been close.

After all the papers were counted it emerged Ms McMullon had lost by just 143 votes with 741 votes.

Liberal Democrat Simon Crosby secured 204 votes and Kevin Foster of The Green Party 107 votes.

The turnout was 41.53 per cent.

Cllr Peacock is a former leader of the district council.

She stood against Cllr Blackie for the Upper Dales county council seat at the last county council elections in 2017 but was unsuccessful.