THE Conservative party has scooped seats in the Brookvale and Kings Furlong ward for the first time in 38 years.

The town centre ward’s previous councillors, Jack Cousens and Mike Westbrook (both Basingstoke Independent Group), stepped down from their roles ahead of this year’s all-out election, leaving it one of only two areas to see three new faces, alongside Popley.

Arun Mummalaneni and Sam Jeans of the Conservative party took first and second place, and were delighted with the result.

Cllr Mummalaneni said: “There are no words to explain it. This is the victory of an inclusive Amazingstoke.

“After 38 years, Conservatives come back in Brookvale with a thumping majority.”

Giving her reaction to the result, Sam Jeans added: “It’s slightly scary, and exciting. We are excited and I am honoured to work with Arun.”

Speculating on the reasons for their victory, Cllr Mummalaneni said: “Labour are going out of touch. None of the candidates live in the ward.”

He continued: “We are representative of all, not of the few.

“I am grateful for everyone who voted for me and I will represent all of them. I am proud to see that the Conservatives are being supported by more diverse communities.”

Labour’s Michael Howard-Sorrell took the final seat and described the win as “bittersweet”, as his party had hoped to gain back the two previously BDI seats.

He said: “I lived in nearby Norden until recently, and I have friends who live in the ward. I have gotten to know it so well over the last few months.

“The issues are what come first. I am going to work with my colleagues in the ward - Arun is a great guy and I think we will work well together.”

Echoing this sentiment, Cllr Jeans added: “Overall the most important thing is we all believe in supporting the local community and I don’t think it matters what colour your rosette is.”