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Former town councillor Karen Tippins is one of three candidates competing to fill the vacancy on Shaftesbury Town Council left by the recent resignation of Simon Pritchard who has left to become the clerk to Melborne Port parish council.

The other two candidates are Sam Skey, a well known local musician, and Adrian Welch, older brother of new town councillor Matthew Welch.

The by-election for the East Ward vacancy is being held on the same day as the general election on 12 December.

Mrs Tippins dramatically resigned as an East Ward councillor nearly three years ago with her husband, the then mayor Dr Richard Tippins, and Jo Francis, a North Dorset District Council member, alleging they were being ‘sabotaged and bullied’ by other councillors.

She has since become a champion for the rights of people living on Persimmon’s East Shaftesbury development, recently supporting residents’ fight to prevent Dorset Council blocking access by private cars into the estate at Mampitts Lane.

Sam Skey, the son of Shaftesbury town crier Cliff Skey, stood unsuccessfully as Labour candidate for both Dorset Council and Shaftesbury town council in the May 2019 local elections.

Adrian Welch, 23, is being supported by the town’s mayor Councillor Tim Cook, one of Shaftesbury’s two Liberal Democrat councillors on Dorset Council.

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