AN Independent councillor has won a county council seat which was previously held by a Conservative.

Peter Jinman comfortably won yesterday's election for the Golden Valley ward for Herefordshire Council.

The seat became vacant after previous Conservative councillor, Graham Powell, moved away from the county.

Mr Jinman has been a member of Ewyas Harold Parish Council for a number of years and is currently chairman.

He said: "The support I have had is absolutely fantastic- I am very humbled by that."

Mr Jinman chose to stand as an Independent because he works with central government- he is the independent chairman of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee.

He said: "I am also not a strong believer in party politics in local government. I think the most important thing is getting good people in the right place to do the job."

Mr Jinman is also involved in aspects of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and he was previously a partner at veterinary practices in Hereford and Ewyas Harold

He said: "Locally I hope I can bring a perspective where I have been involved in one particular area of government in London and still am. I hope I can bring a bit of perspective of understanding. I have been involved in various regulatory bodies within my own profession. Hopefully that will help."

His daughter, Philly, runs the Temple Bar Inn in Ewyas Harold, where he also helps out.

Mr Jinman had 462 votes, with Simeon Cole, Conservative, coming in second with 254 votes and Independent Richard Baker third with 152 votes.

Jeremy Miln for the Green party had 109 votes and Labour's Anna Coda has 104 votes. The turnout was 40.53 per cent.

Cllr Bob Matthews, leader of Herefordshire Independents, said: "The Herefordshire Independents are delighted to have someone of Peter Jinman's knowledge in politics and business both locally and nationally joining our already experienced and active team within Herefordshire Council.

"A swing of this magnitude from the Conservatives to Independents would appear to indicate that no Conservative seat anywhere in the county is any longer safe, and so I believe that the message is quite clear. It's time for change. 

"I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all those people from the Golden Valley South Ward who supported Peter and gave us such a warm welcome when we visited you in this most beautiful part of the county."