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Gordon Oliver is the new mayor of Torbay after local elections

By This is Devon  |  Posted: May 07, 2011

OLIVER IS BAY'S NEW MAYOR
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GORDON OLIVER is the new mayor of Torbay.

The Tory candidate (pictured) beat a challenge from outgoing mayor and Independent Nick Bye to win the election by more than 3,000 votes.

Mr Oliver finished with 12,716 votes and Mr Bye 9,631 after the two made it to the second and final round of counting at the Riviera International Centre in Torquay yesterday.

Lib-Dem candidate Dennis Brewer failed to make it to the final cut and finished in third place with 6,903 votes. There were 1,431 spoiled ballot papers.

Mr Oliver had replaced Mr Bye after the Conservative party refused to back him as their official nomination.

A by-election will now have to called in the Cockington-with-Chelston ward after Mr Oliver was also successfully re-elected as a councillor there. He cannot do both jobs.

Mr Oliver said: "This hasn't sunk in for me yet.

"I was never confident until the last half-hour because, with so many candidates and the effect of national politics, it was not clear whatsoever who was going to be the successful candidate."

He has already made it clear that he wants to see the mayoral system, which he will now drive at the Town Hall, scrapped.

He said: "We've had five years of a mayoral system now and I want to rid it of its imperfections, making it more transparent.

"In terms of the role of elected mayor, I don't like it — so I will try to change it. I will work in the parameters of the job to achieve my aims for Torbay."

Mr Bye spoke of the 'legacy' he had left the Bay after five years in charge.

He said: "There is no disgrace in getting almost 10,000 votes, no disgrace at all."

He told the audience at the RIC: "I got 8,000 votes in the first ballot, some 10,000 votes overall. I can walk out of the town hall with my head held high.

"I wanted to put my record to the people of Torbay. I wanted their judgement. They have made their verdict and I accept that."

Taking a swipe at new mayor Mr Oliver, Mr Bye said: "Anyway, there is a by-election in Cockington with Chelston. How about that?"

He added: "I'm proud of my team and wish Gordon and his team all the best."

He also said to Mr Oliver: "Some of the names you listed for thanks for help have helped me too — so there we go. But we are an inclusive organisation, taking the Bay forward for the next five years.

"I would like to be the first person to congratulate Gordon Oliver in taking Torbay forward. I wish him and his team every success."

He joked to audience: "We found a shopping list in one of the ballot boxes. I'm worried there is now a woman going around Tesco looking for an Oliver, a Brewer and a Bye."

Lib-Dem candidate Mr Brewer said: "The Bay needs change and what's happened today is not going to bring that about."

Mr Oliver said he will take advice on what now happens in his Cockington ward.

He said: "I've increased my majority by 500. I need to take professional advice from the chief executive. I'm one of five mayoral candidates who were also putting themselves forward as council candidates.

"The same happened when Nick Bye became mayor. He had to forego his council seat. If the Stage Two votes had gone Nick's way I would not have won. I was not confident until we'd gone through that process."

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  • budgie56JK  |  June 17 2012, 7:29PM

    While one must appreciate that most local papers including the Herald Express do not have the money they once had, that picture of Gordon Oliver leaning on the railings down at the harbour is getting rather old hat. It may well be another photograph but why cannot the scene be more original since we have seen this all before? Those who reside in Torquay will be quite bored with it of course. I could possibly provide a more original and relevant photograph by searching my own archives of Gordon holding up the bar at the Yacht Club but it would involve going back to before the time when he became Mayor, and may not reflect his great new image. If I do find such a photo I will give it to the HE for no charge. After-all, it is the image that counts, and I am always willing to help out any politician local or national in their quest to obtain our entire and most unblemished confidence.

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    martin, Brixham  |  May 10 2011, 4:37PM

    Mr Oliver has now been in office 3 days earning over £700...What has he done for the residents of Torbay....I told you at the outset a waste of money......

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    Voter, Torquay  |  May 10 2011, 9:01AM

    @ ary (and others). Although it¿s true that only four out of ten people voted in Torquay, you cannot possibly draw the conclusion that the majority did not get the result they wanted. You cannot know at all what those six out of ten want or don¿t want. Nor should you waste your time trying. People don¿t vote for a number of reasons. Yes, apathy is chief, or so we are told, but the majority of people I know who did not vote, did not because they honestly believe that it makes absolutely no difference to their lives who is in power, either locally or nationally (yes, I know, madness, but hey). Others did not bother because they believed there was no point, as they could not expect to change the result, either one way or the other. And I think you would be surprised to learn that some people don¿t vote because they don¿t actually know HOW TO DO IT ¿ ie, what is expected of them once they get inside the polling station (their hands are held like babies in just about every other aspect of life, so this is completely alien to them). Also, there are a growing number of people who are living ¿off grid¿ as it were ¿ ie, not being on the electoral roll. They (bizarrely) think that this means that they are invisible to the authorities. Democratically, people have a right to not vote if they wish, and to not vote for whatever reason they like. It is not for the rest of us to say what it is they want or don¿t want. We cannot know.

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    David, tq2  |  May 10 2011, 12:04AM

    82 comments about our new elected mayor after one day in office. I don't think Nick Bye ever got that many in five years in office. Not all at one go anyway.

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    martin, Brixham  |  May 09 2011, 9:12PM

    I can't believe you people let Gordon Oliver become Mayor of Torbay...I voted not to have a Mayor and had all you moaners done the same, they would have listened... He has openly made it clear the position will be disbanded as far as he is concerned.... Now ask yourselves this? What is he going to do in his term of office being an individual who doesn't think the post should exist? zilch, nada, nothing..... All Mr Oliver is going to do, bank a very large salary and laugh at the tax payers of Torbay and think to himself....What a lot of fools, I am nothing but a genius!!! He knows as I do, we can't afford an over-paid Chief Executive and a Mayor, but all of you think otherwise... He has now cashed in on the lot of you and laughing all the way to the bank... A total disgrace.....

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    TGWB, Torbay  |  May 09 2011, 2:44PM

    Finally, a voice of reason - let's get our green bins back right now. Oliver, this must be placed at the top of your agenda. What do we want - we just want our green bins back, it's not a big ask - but you'd think we were asking for gold lined streets. Lets have green bin lined streets. Oliver, go forth and make it so...... The fight continues, join use on facebook (torbay green wheelie bins)

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    Right to vote?, Torbay  |  May 09 2011, 2:33PM

    I didn't feel any affiliation at all with any of the candidates yet still felt compelled to vote, if only for the right to moan about it later when things go wrong! But, as a young voter, having been forced to vote for any of these 'candidates' only makes me wonder what would have happened if there was a 'Don't want a mayor' option at the bottom of the ballot paper. Something tells me Torbay would have had a much improved voter turnout, and a much emptier mayoral office!

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    R Harris, paignton  |  May 09 2011, 1:23PM

    I have noticed amongst the personal remarks here the term "failed estate agent" or failed this or failed that etc. I am a retired chartered engineer but do not consider myself failed since I was never struck off the IEE register and never cheated clients. No one ever made a complaint to state I did not deserve my status. Does one suppose that one is not failed only if one sells off a business for over £100 million and then becomes a councillor or MP? Does one have to have the egotism of a Donald Trump and all his money to be considered succesful or must one be a retailer like Philip Green and reside overseas to avoid taxation? Just what is it one has to be in order not to be considered as failed? I first noticed this term used in the HE some 9 years when names appeared in the letters section from former BNP candidates but when a Tory or LibDem named appeared who failed at some time to get elected they did not write failed Tory or failed Labour candidate etc when the did not get elected? In short this attitude represents the decadence in today's consummer society because unless one appears within the media with grandiose style materialistic hype or one is a super god style footballer one can only be considered as failed! That may be why so few people want to be councillors because they did not appear in some grotty TV reality show, do not have around £1 billion in cash but if they won a Noble Prize one can be sure that they would also be considered as failed for being one vote short of being elected.

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    Head in the Sand, Torbay  |  May 09 2011, 9:56AM

    @ Derrick - is "bowels club" a euphemism for 'old peoples' home? I've heard these facultues weaken with age... makes one wonder why those at bowls club wear white.

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    Derrick, Troquay  |  May 09 2011, 9:49AM

    Torbay 2011-2016. Ephitet: Cronyism, Nimbyism and cuts cuts cuts This is what happens when you let people who hold golf course, yacht club an bowels club memberships rule our political votes.

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