THE GREEN PARTY has strengthened its position on Stroud District Council after Gary Luff won the Painswick and Upton by-election.

The Green Party councillor received 1,168 votes ahead of Conservative candidate Susan Williams who polled 817.

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat Roz Savage and Labour’s Ela Pathak-Sen received 381 and 180 votes respectively.

The Green Party co-leader, Carla Denyer, visited Stroud to celebrate the party winning the by-election in the Painswick and Upton ward.

Stroud News and Journal:

Councillor Luff is the first non-Tory to represent the area since the ward was established in 2016.

Prior to that, Painswick ward had been held by the Conservatives since 1974.

He said: “I’m so thrilled.

“The result shows that the residents of Painswick and Upton really wanted a change after many years."

He said he will be getting straight to work and attended the council’s annual general meeting at Ebley Mill.

National Green leader Carla Denyer congratulated Cllr Luff for his success.

She said:“This shows that residents want politicians who are caring as well as competent, and they decided Greens are the best choice for that.

“Green politics is a better type of politics: collaborative and compassionate.

"This is more great news, following on from the Green Party’s success elsewhere in the May 4 elections - we now have a record 739 councillors across England.”

While in Stroud District, she also met volunteers, activists and Young Greens, and thanked them for their hard work in getting Gary elected.

“The win in Painswick is a vote of confidence in the Alliance administration on Stroud District Council that is led by the Greens,” she said.

Cllr Luff, 49, lives in Painswick village with his wife and two teenage daughters.

He is a retired insurance company senior executive who now runs a community interest company called sustainably enough, which gives free advice to help people manage their money while reducing their environmental impact.

His priorities as a councillor include protecting the countryside, addressing climate change and helping residents with the cost-of-living crisis.

The political makeup on Stroud District Council is now 19 Conservatives, 14 Green Party councillors, six Labour and Cooperative Party councillors, four Community Independents, four Independent Left councillors, three Liberal Democrats and an Independent.