KAREN Mercer has been elected as Shepton Mallet's newest town councillor.
Ms Mercer, standing for the Liberal Democrats, gained 336 votes at a by-election on December 5.
Also standing for election was Derek Marvin for The Local Community (TLC). He received 192 votes. The turnout for the vote was 12.44 per cent.
Ms Mercer, who runs My Coffee Stop in Shepton Mallet, said: "I'm absolutely delighted that the people of Shepton Mallet have given me a vote of their confidence after only three months of being here.
"Since 2009, when I opened my first coffee shop in Enfield, we used the business to be a vehicle for helping others in the community. When we came to Shepton Mallet and I opened my second shop and started making links with the community and contributing to the town I've been doing things but now I'm a town councillor I can do it a bit more easily because I can say things at meetings and have more resources.
"I feel I'm in a wonderful position. People can make contact with me very easily as my business is on the high street. I'm looking forward to having conversations with members, friends and contacts in the south east ward and really looking forward to having that power to go to council meetings and say what people are really thinking.
"I'd like to say a heartfelt thanks to people for giving me this opportunity to help in my community – even more than before. I'm very excited about the future and thanks to the Liberal Democrats for helping with my campaign."
See letters page 26