THE Ripon independents have lost two of the three seats they were defending on Harrogate Borough Council to the Conservatives.
The closest result was in Ripon Minster ward where Conservative candidate and Ripon Hornblower George Pickles ousted incumbent Sid Hawke by just four votes after two re-counts.
The Conservatives also gained Ripon Spa where Mike Chambers defeated Coun Peter Horton but independent Coun Charlie Powell retained his Ripon Moorside seat.
The results have helped the Conservatives gain nine seats across the Harrogate borough which has allowed the Tories to take control of the district council with a majority of 14.
The make up of the council is now: Conservatives – 34; Liberal Democrats – 17, others – 3.
The results for the three Ripon seats were as follows:
George Pickles (Conservative) 645
Sid Hawke (Independent) 641
Paul Freeman (Lib Dem) 236
Deborah Welford (Labour) 131
Charlie Powell (Independent) 889
John Topping (Conservative) 381
Nicolas Murray (Labour) 259
Mike Chambers (Conservative) 843
Peter Horton (Independent) 473
John Stockdale (Lib Dem) 237
Andrew Murday (Labour) 152
Stanley Mackintosh 144