NORTH Devon has its first BAME councillor, while the Liberal Democrats retained their grip on the council.

By virtue of a by-election after the last local election in 2019, the Lib Dems came into this year’s local election with an overall majority of the council, holding 22 seats.

That trend continued in the early hours of Friday as the party, amid a vibrant atmosphere at Tarka Leisure Centre, held onto its advantage.

There was little joy for the Conservatives, which has just seven of the 42 seats, while Labour’s conspicuous lack of success in North Devon continues – none of its candidates were elected.

The Green Party gained a further seat to take its tally to three, but the morning belonged to the Liberal Democrats.

Syed Yusuf became North Devon’s first Black and Minority Ethnic councillor by winning a seat in Barnstaple Central, claiming a mammoth 273 votes (mammoth in the context of a council election in North Devon). His nearest competitor, Conservative George Howe, took 92 votes.

In an impassioned speech after his election, Cllr Yusuf vowed to help create a “safe” and “clean” North Devon, while highlighting the importance of his cross-party colleagues working together.

Conservative Cllr Paul Crabb, who was again elected to represent Ilfracombe East, acknowledged that the Liberal Democrats had enjoyed a good election, but said he hopes the picture in North Devon changes over the next four years.

Newly elected Green Cllr Ricky Knight, who now represents Heanton Punchardon, has had nearly 10 goes at becoming a district councillor, and said he was “chuffed” to gain a seat on the council.

Rob Kershaw


Here are North Devon’s councillor list in full:

Barnstaple Central:

Syed Yusuf – Liberal Democrats

Braunton East:

Matthew Bell – Liberal Democrats

Liz Spear – Liberal Democrats

Braunton West:

Jasmine Chesters – Independent

Pru Maskell – Conservative

Barnstaple with Pilton:

Jane Lovering – Liberal Democrats

Louise Orange – Liberal Democrat

Ian Roome – Liberal Democrat

Barnstaple with Westacott:

John Clayton – Liberal Democrat

Richard Leaver – Liberal Democrats

Katrina Stevens – Liberal Democrats

Ilfracombe West:

Mark Quinn – Conservative

Jane Wilson – Green


Frank Biederman – Independent

Alan Denton – Independent


Mary Cann – Liberal Democrat

Will Topps – Liberal Democrat

Helen Walker – Liberal Democrat


Mark Haworth-Booth – Green

Glyn Lane – Independent

Ilfracombe East:

Paul Crabb – Conservative

Daniel Turton – Conservative

June Williams – Liberal Democrat

Bratton Fleming:

Malcolm Prowse – Independent

Bishops Nympton:

Robin Milton – Independent


Susan Whitehead – Conservative


David Knight – Liberal Democrat

Christopher Norman – Liberal Democrat


Caroline Leaver – Liberal Democrat

Louisa York – Liberal Democrat


Kevin Davies – Liberal Democrat

Combe Martin:

Brian Lethaby – Non-aligned

Heanton Punchardon:

Ricky Knight – Green


Lucinda Renshaw – Conservative

South Molton:

Peter Bishop – Liberal Democrats

Matthew Bushell – Non-aligned

David Worden – Liberal Democrat

North Molton:

Liz Bulled – Conservative


Malcolm Wilkinson – Liberal Democrat

Lynton and Lynmouth:

John Patrinos – Independent


Peter Jones – Independent

Marwood (Uncontested):