New Vale douzenier follows in his father’s footsteps

HUMBLED and delighted was the reaction of plumber Nigel Leale after he stormed to a decisive victory in the election for a new Vale douzenier.

Nigel Leale is the new Vale douzenier, following in the footsteps of his father who served the parish in that role for 12 years. (Picture by Cassidy Jones, 29891557)
Nigel Leale is the new Vale douzenier, following in the footsteps of his father who served the parish in that role for 12 years. (Picture by Cassidy Jones, 29891557)

He received almost half of the votes cast, and saw off challenges from former deputy Mary Lowe and Anne Setters.

There was a higher than expected turnout of 569 parishioners, with Mr Leale receiving 268 votes, Mrs Setters got 202 and Mrs Lowe 99.

Mr Leale said he was grateful to everyone who voted.

‘It will take a while to sink in, but I’m pleased, I’m really made up and humbled that that many people turned out and voted.

‘My father did it for 12 years, he always said I should have a go because I’d enjoy it, so I suppose I’ll find out.’

Top of Mr Leale’s new to-do list is to listen to parishioners and make sure the Vale’s voice gets heard.

‘I haven’t arrived with any pre-determined ideas, I’m just going to go with it and see what comes. It’s all new, I don’t have any negative views about it all. I know there’s a housing issue, there’s lots to talk about and do.

‘The douzaine plays a part, we’ve all got to move together and work together rather than in different directions, I’m looking forward to it.’

The election was the first deferred poll that had been held in the Vale for more than a decade.

Around 80 parishioners had turned out to a meeting earlier this month, with many expecting the election to be held on that night, and there was some anger when Mrs Lowe was successful in her bid to get the election deferred so that it could be held across a whole day.

As soon as the polls closed at 8pm yesterday, volunteers swung into action to start the count.

The switch to island wide voting last year meant they had not done a count for some time, but everything went smoothly and the declaration was read out at 8.30pm.

A small crowd gathered at the douzaine room to hear the result and there was a loud cheer when Mr Leale was declared the winner.

Richard Leale, the senior constable, said it was a lot of work, but worthwhile to see so many voters.

‘It was a very good turn-out, I was expecting around 300, so to go over 500 was excellent.’

Runner-up candidate Mrs Setters was gracious in defeat.

‘I’m very pleased, I was surprised at the number of votes I got, and I want to say well done to Nigel because he did extremely well.

‘The deferred election meant that far more people could vote, although I doubt whether it would have been a different result.’

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