St Mary's split into three following North Tyneside Council election count

An autumn walk in the sunshine along Whitley Bay beach from Spanish City to St Mary's Lighthouse and Island, October 2023.
An autumn walk in the sunshine along Whitley Bay beach from Spanish City to St Mary's Lighthouse and Island, October 2023. -Credit:ChronicleLive

The residents and electorate of the St Mary's ward split into three in this year's 'all-out' local election in North Tyneside. In a surprise turn of events for what was always going to be an interesting ward this year, the voters have chosen one Tory, one Labour, and one independent councillor to represent them.

Labour's Andy Holdsworth was elected today, amassing 1,373 votes, securing him, and for Labour for the first time in 50 years, a seat in St Mary's ward. Coun Holdsworth has political experience, having been a councillor for Monkseaton previously, but was still shocked at his own result.

The 53-year-old care leaver support worker said: "It is absolutely astounding. I just want to thank everyone who delivered leaflets, or went door knocking, and never lost faith. I will be the best councillor for St Mary's I can possibly be. I am overwhelmed with appreciation for the people of St Mary's".

When asked how he would work alongside a Conservative and an Independent in the same ward, Coun Holdsworth responded: "It is about the people of St Mary's and we will work together and deliver. St Mary's is an amazing place with fantastic schools and a fantastic community."

Coun Judith Wallace was also returned to serve the residents as a St Mary's independent. Coun Wallace had originally served the ward as a Conservative but quit the party in February 2023, alongside then-serving Tory councillors Pam McIntyre and George Westwater.

The three ex-Tory's claimed the North Tyneside Conservative Federation had become a hotbed of "sustained bullying" with a "toxic atmosphere". Claims the Federation denied.

Now, Coun Wallace has been elected as a local independent in her own right, gaining 1,320 votes.

Coun Wallace said: " I am delighted to have been re-elected. I have represented St Mary's for 17 years and it has been a huge honour. I am grateful the residents have put their trust in me again.

"Along with my colleague Pam McIntyre we have always put St Mary's first and we will ensure the residents get the services they deserve. St Mary's is a great place to be and we always strive to make it better."

The North Tyneside Conservative Leader, Liam Bones said: "The result in St Mary's shows what we have been saying for the last 12 months, which is voting independent only lets Labour in".