PUTTING Hartlepool First representative Kelly Ann Atkinson has won the battle for the seat up for grabs in the Seaton Ward.
The 34-year-old mum-of-two was announced as the winner of Thursday’s Seaton Ward by-election.
The result means Putting Hartlepool First now hold five of the 33 seats on Hartlepool Borough Council.
Coun Atkinson expressed her delight at the result and was praised by party leader Geoff Lilley.
But candidates did admit to being disappointed at the turn-out, which was just 16.1 per cent.
Coun Atkinson will now join independent councillors Cath Hill and Paul Thompson on the Seaton Ward.
After being declared winner, she told the Mail: “I’m delighted, I was just hoping I wasn’t going to come last!
“I’m not going to make promises which I can’t keep but I will do my absolute best to please the residents in Seaton.
“I would just like to thank everybody who voted for me and Geoff and the rest of the group.”
Councillor Lilley, who represents Fens and Rossmere, added: “We knew Kelly was a really good candidate.
“She is a real part of the community in the Seaton ward and we are delighted that residents have had the faith to vote for her.”
Coun Atkinson received the most votes in the by-election ahead of Labour candidate Ann Marshall, independent David Young, UK Independence party representative Tom Hind, Conservative Shane Moore and Liberal Democrat candidate Jim Tighe.
The result means Labour now hold 21 council seats with Putting Hartlepool First second best represented with five.
There are four independent seats and three which are held by Conservative.