FOR the last three years Liberal Democrat ex-Mayor Ray Earwicker has sat in the public gallery at Sandhurst Town Council meetings and harassed the all-Conservative administration during public question time.
On Thursday, when the council held its annual meeting, he was back as a councillor -while a Conservative "gang of four" defeated candidates sat glumly side by side in the gallery.
For in the recent elections Coun. Earwicker not only topped the poll for College Town but won a Bracknell Forest seat as well -by five votes after three recounts! Ray Simonds lost both his Bracknell and Sandhurst seats.
Although the Conservatives still hold 19 of the 24 town council seats there is now a five strong opposition. Fellow Liberal Democrat Peter Hodge also returned while Labour has two seats after Sylvia Trevis took one of the seats in Central Sandhurst. The town's first Green councillor, Teresa Burchnall-Wood, joined her. Labour also saw Jonathan Keen elected in Little Sandhurst because a Conservative councillor did not get his papers in in time.
The most high profile councillor to lose his seat was former Mayor Peter North, who upset many people in the row over the proposed youth drop in centre on the Memorial Park. Also out was planning chairman Bob Piggin and Dorothy Pearce.
But the opposition was put in its place when voting came for committee membership. The two Liberal Democrats were both voted down for committees they wanted to be on- as was Coun. Trevis.
The new committee chairmen are: Planning - Coun. Adrian Ronca; Environment- Coun. Diana Pidgeon; Leisure- Coun. Nick Skinner; Strategy & Policy- Coun. Nick Allen.
Election results: Central: Elected - Diana Pidgeon (Con) 464, Sylvia Trevis (Lab) 390, Teresa Burchnall-Wood (Green) 381, Roger Lindley (Con) 375, Elizabeth North (Con) 364, Donald Craig (Con) 359. Not elected: Peter North (Con) 353, Bob Piggin (Con) 336, Laurence Boxall (UKIP) 311.
Owlsmoor: Elected - (all Con) Sylvia Balls 577, David Worrall 567, Audrey Shephard 566, Richard Thomas 554, John Blowfield 525, Norman Bowers 523. Not elected -Brian Wilson (Lab) 373.
College Town: Elected -Ray Earwicker (LD) 540, Robert Blair (Con) 53l, Nick Allen (Con) 525, Peter Hodge (LD) 520, Carole Cupper (Con) 506, Margaret Simonds (Con) 497. Not elected - Dorothy Pearce (Con) 494, Ray Simonds (Con) 481, Stephen Pope (LD) 465.
Little Sandhurst: Elected - Paul Bettison (Con) 630, Dale Birch (Con) 617, Jean Bettison (Con) 608, Nick Skinner (Con) 593, Adrian Ronca (Con) 588, Jonathan Keen (Lab) 365. Not elected: Jack Delbridge (Lab) 348.