FORMER Mayor Tony Prior is back in local politics!

He yesterday won the Crimchard ward by-election on Chard Town Council to become a councillor once again - four years after he was disqualified from local government for nine months for breaking the council's code of conduct.

Cllr Prior, standing as an independent, who had previously served both town and district councils for 27 years before his disqualification in 2006, won yesterday's by-election by 59 votes from second-placed candidate, Dave O'Brien, of the Liberal Democrats.

Third was Conservative candidate Nanette Wale.

And Cllr Prior said: "I would like to thank the electors of Crimchard for electing me as their independent councillor."

He hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2006 when he was banned from local government for nine months after breaking the town council's code of conduct on four counts in his dealings with former town clerk Sally Bing.

Despite his fall from grace from local government, Cllr Prior remained very much involved in the local community with his work on a number of organisations including the Chard Museum, League of Friends of Chard Hospital and the Harveys Trust.

For more on Cllr Prior's return to Chard Town Council - see next week's News.

Crimchard ward by-election result: 1 Tony Prior (Independent) 244; 2 Dave O'Brien (Liberal Democrats) 185; 3 Nanette Wale (Conservative) 133.

The turnout was low at just 28 per cent.