INDEPENDENT candidate Kate Van der Plank has been elected as councillor for Alvechurch on Bromsgrove District Council, with 50 per cent of the vote.

As well as the general election, residents in Alvechurch village ward voted in a district by-election, after former Conservative Roger Smith resigned.

There were 893 votes polled for Ms Van der Plank, 583 for Conservative Luisa Nixon, 175 for Lib Dem Siobhan Hughes and 99 for fellow independent Kenneth Wheatley.

Turn-out was 78 per cent - up 5.5 per cent on 2015.

Mum-of-three Kate Van der Plank, 47, currently owns her own business providing management consultancy support to charities.

She said: “I’ve lived in Alvechurch for 16 years.

“I love living here, I care about what happens here, and I have a proven track record in getting things done for our village including being co-founder of The Lounge community café.

“As an Independent I am not restricted by any party line and will ensure we are properly heard and that our best interests are served at district level.

“I commit to being a visible, active and accessible councillor.”