ROSS-ON-WYE’s newly elected Liberal Democrat county councillor Chris Bartrum says he will never forget the people he represents.

Councillor Bartrum, who received 547 votes for the Ross North ward by-election on Herefordshire Council, thanked local residents for the trust they have placed in him.

He came ahead of Conservative Party candidate Nigel Gibbs who polled 136 and Labour’s Melvin Hodges on 45.

“First, I’d like to thank the other candidates in this election,” coun Bartrum said.

“Their vote was affected by their parties’ national problems and was not a reflection of their talents and abilities.

“Secondly, a huge thank you to the 547 people who voted for me.

“The hard work starts from now. I’m sure I will have failures and knock downs in the future.

“But I will never forget that I have a responsibility to keep talking to you, keep listening to you and keep representing you to the best of my ability.”

The result means the Libdems are now the joint-second biggest group tied with It’s Our County and the Greens.

They also hold all county council seats in Ross and have control of the town council.

Lib Dem group leader Terry James said he was very pleased with the result.

He feared that voters would be suffering from election fatigue due to all the recent polls.

“Councillor Bartrum has worked his socks off for the last few years and it is paying off,” he said.

“The success in Ross is down to a very hard working team.”

The by-election turnout was 26%.

The vote had been postponed from May 2 following the death of a Ukip candidate.