KEITH Budden has been elected to represented the Hangers and Forest Ward on East Hampshire District Council.

A by-election was held on July 26 for the vacant ward, which includes the villages of Greatham, Liss Forest and Hawkley.

Conservative Mr Budden (pictured) received 236 votes, narrowly beating Liberal Democrat candidate Roger Mullenger, who polled 227 votes. Don Jerrard, standing for the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party, received 41 votes, and Labour’s Neil Owsnett polled 17 votes.

The turnout was 27 per cent.

“I’m obviously pleased to win, albeit by a slim margin,” said Mr Budden. “I look forward to serving the people. I think I can make a difference and make sure their voices are heard.”

He also extended “commiserations” to Mr Mullenger and said the result was “much closer than anyone anticipated”.

However, Mr Budden, who is also chairman of Liss Parish Council, said this was a good thing as it is going to “keep me on my toes”.