DEREK Thomas has been declared the winner of the Wotton-under-Edge Ward by-election.

After beating competition from John Collins and Chris Young, Derek will now take his place on Wotton Town Council.

Derek gained 518 votes, with Chris Young coming second with 429 votes, and John Collins in third place with 129 votes.

The by-election was called after the resignation of Cllr Chris Young at the beginning of August.

The ballot was counted in Stroud last night, with the result announced at 11.20pm.

Derek says that he is delighted with the result.

"I'm keen to see a more positive, forward thinking council," he said.

"We've now got a good team, so let's see if we can make a difference."

Derek is particularly interested in the town council taking on the running of the Symn Lane car park development.

"The Symn Lane car park is critical to the town's future. We're now going to have co-operation from the town council over the project, as the majority of councillors are prepared to take on management of the car park.

"A lot of people want to see the car park go ahead.

"It will revitalise the town and encourage more visitors and investment. It's a win for the community."