The newest member of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is looking forward to the debate becoming less political.

Independent councillor Chris Tomblin was elected on Friday in a by-election for the Bramley and Sherfield ward, triggered by the resignation of Venetia Rowland.

He fought of competition from fellow-Independent Joyce Bowyer and Conservative candidate Angus Groom to take the seat with 57 per cent of the vote, with the Conservatives losing 24 per cent since the last election.

Speaking to the Gazette immediately after being elected of his plans, Cllr Tomblin said: "I just think Bramley in particular has suffered a lot with development and that was the key theme throughout, that it seems like it’s been unfairly targeted for housing and there’s a lot of work that I think I could help the borough and help Bramley to help.

"Not to rectify it because you can’t undo what’s done but to help protect us for the future.

"We have this problem in the borough with builders not actually delivering the sites that they’ve got permission for, which then of course central government has allowed them to apply for sites because the borough has its defences down with no five year supply and the local plan is under review.

"So we’re very vulnerable but we need to stand up and be counted."

The result also means that the Conservative group have lost voting control of the council, with the Conservative holding 29 seats compared to the combined opposition's 31.

This means that the council will need the support of others to vote things through.

There are three independent councillors, meaning that the trio may well have an important saying.

Cllr Tomblin says that he is looking forward to the debate becoming less political.

"That’s an interesting thing and that’s one of the reasons for being an independent because you are not on any side," he said.

"So depending now on the subject being debated, there is going to be a good view.

"I was a councillor from 2012-16 and one of the things there was every time you had a very sensible debate, the mass numbers would vote it differently perhaps to the way you think it should go."