Liberal Democrat Roland Richardson was elected as an East Hampshire district councillor in the Four Marks and Medstead by-election on February 15 with 62.2 per cent of the vote.

Cllr Richardson received 1,212 votes, with the only other candidate, Conservative Kelly Southern-Reason, polling 736.

The Liberal Democrat vote rose 19 per cent compared to the 2019 East Hampshire District Council elections.

Cllr Richardson said: “Thank you to voters for putting their trust in me to represent their interests on the district council.

“As I promised during my campaign, I will work tirelessly to promote the interests of the community, to protect and improve our local environment, and to hold the district council leadership to account for decisions and spending.

“I look forward to joining the strong Liberal Democrat group on the council.”

Commenting on his party’s success, Dominic Martin, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for East Hampshire, said: “It’s been a brilliant night for the Liberal Democrats in East Hampshire.

“Roland Richardson is going to make a great councillor in Four Marks, Medstead and Chawton.

“The results suggest that 2024 is going to be a fantastic year for the Liberal Democrats across Hampshire and the south of England.”

In the run-up to the election, Cllr Richardson said being an elected representative at any level was “not a role or responsibility to be taken lightly”.

He has parish council experience, with involvement in caring for footpaths, trees and public spaces, and has been involved in campaigns to protect his local environment and reduce the pressure on it.

Cllr Richardson said: “Voters need to know that councillors, whatever their political affiliations, will listen to their communities and put public interest ahead of private gain.

“They need to know that they will act with honesty and integrity at all times.”