CONSERVATIVES have held both seats following a by-election in Gravesend on Thursday (December 20).

Vacancies for the Kent County Council (KCC) Gravesham rural division post and the Gravesham Borough Council Meopham North ward were caused by the death of Councillor Mike Snelling in October.

Councillor Bryan Sweetland, who is KCC’s cabinet member for environment, highways and waste as well as Istead Rise ward councillor, took the Gravesham rural position after receiving more than double the votes of his closest rival.

He received 1,780 votes whilst former-UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clark came second with 634 votes.

Councillor Julia Burgoyne won the Meopham North ward by-election, receiving 419 votes, again beating Geoffrey Clark who was backed by 204 voters.