Conservatives kept their grip in the heart of Rother District Council, winning 13 of the 18 seats in Bexhill.

It was as-you-were for the sedate seaside town, which has seen slight ward changes since the last district council election in 1999, as Conservative after Conservative was elected.

All the Bexhill seats were counted overnight with the remaining 19 covering the rural areas declaring this morning.

Two Labour, two Liberal Democrat and one Independent broke the sea of Tory blue in Bexhill.

The Liberal Democrats fared better in the rest of Rother where they took five of the 19 seats, but bar one Labour and another Independent, the Tories enjoyed a resounding success.

Popular Independent Charles Clark once again topped the poll in the St Michael's ward, splitting the Tory vote.

Teacher Peter Fairhurst was the other Tory elected ahead of fellow party member Martin Kenward, who stormed out of the count without comment.

Husband and wife team Keith and Helen Bridger again became the sole Labour representatives for Bexhill by winning the Sidley ward just ahead of the two Tory candidates.

Liberal Democrats held the Bexhill Old Town ward with Eric Armstrong and James Wood winning through ahead of the single Tory and Labour candidate.

Deirdre Williams, who was in 1999 elected as a Labour councillor for the ward, was elected as a Tory councillor for the Sackville ward along with long-standing Tory and county councillor Jean Hopkinson.

Leader of Rother District Council, Graham Gubby, came top of the poll in the Bexhill St Stephen's ward where he was elected along with William Clements.

Councillor Gubby said: "This is a vindication of what Conservatives have done for Bexhill. We will keep on with our policy of keeping in touch and listening to the electorate."

Councillor Clark, who topped the poll with almost double the votes of his nearest Conservative rival, said: "I am delighted the people in the ward where I've lived for many years have once again shown faith in me."

RESULTS (* denotes sitting councillor)

BATTLE TOWN: Elected - Suzanne Williams (LD) 668, Robert White (LD) 664. Not elected - Margaret Lester (C) 599, Anthony Mitchell (C) 560, John Gately (L) 182.

BEXHILL CENTRAL: Elected - Eveline Armstrong (C)* 634, Joyce Hughes (C) 608. Not elected - Neil Francis (LD) 484, Michael Doncaster (LD) 451.

BEXHILL COLLINGTON: Elected - Ronald Dyason*(C) 1,071, Christopher Starnes (C) 974. Not elected - Heather Morrey (LD) 575.

BEXHILL KEWHURST: Elected - Martin Horscroft (C) 1,180, Brian Kentfield (C) 1,199. Not elected - John Zipperlen (LD) 162.

BEXHILL OLD TOWN: Elected - James Wood (LD) 499, Eric Armstrong (LD) 469. Not elected - Paul Lendon (C) 373, Nicholas Hollington (L) 195.

BEXHILL SACKVILLE: Elected - Jean Hopkinson* (C) 876, Deirdre Williams* (C) 775. Not elected - Christopher Storer (LD) 411.

BEXHILL ST MARK'S: Elected - Stuart Earl* (C) 1,236, Joanne Gadd (C) 1,106. Not elected - Stephen Calladine-Evans (LD) 359.

BEXHILL ST MICHAEL'S: Elected - Charles Clark* (I) 631, Peter Fairhurst* (C) 393. Not elected - Martin Kenward (C) 373, Martyn Forster (LD) 346.

BEXHILL ST STEPHEN'S: Elected - Graham Gubby* (C) 648, William Clements* (C) 631. Not elected - Hilary McCorry (LD) 432, Trevor Smith (LD) 339, Dominic Coughlan (L) 235.

BEXHILL SIDLEY: Elected - Helen Bridger* (L) 446, Keith Bridger* (L) 418. Not elected - Robert Wheeler (C) 399, Irena Massarella (C) 395, Matthew Kemp (LD) 205.

BREDE VALLEY: Elected - Richard Charles Carroll (C) 775, Carl Maynard (C) 750. Not elected) -

Rowan Fookes (LD) 647.

CROWHURST: Elected - John Kemp (LibDem) 486, Ian Tomisson (C) 315. Not elected - Timothy Macpherson (L) 74.

DARWELL: Elected - David Vereker (C) 858, Wendy Miers (I) 756. Not elected - Trevor Seemann (LD) 476.

EASTERN ROTHER: Elected - John Glazier (C) 733, Charles Ramus (C) 707. Not elected - Sonia Holmes (LD) 424, Nicholas Cleveland-Stevens (LD) 349, Paul Carey (L) 311, Keith Pike (L) 223.

EWHURST AND SEDLESCOMBE: Elected - Matthew Wilson (C) 602. Not elected - Jeremy Field (LD) 290.

MARSHAM: Elected - Robin Patten (C) 935, Roger Bird (C) 894. Not elected - Hugh Gallagher (Ind) 496, Jolyon Holden (LD) 285, Paolo Dorigato (L) 138, Shirley Wheeldon (Lab) 132.

RYE: Elected - Samuel Souster (L) 542, Granville Bantick (LD) 537. Not elected - David Russell (C) 474, Anthony Arfwedson (C) 448, Geoffrey Lyus (L) 443.

SALEHURST: Elected - Susan Prochak (LD) 894, George Hearn (LD) 828. Not elected -

Mary Barnes (C) 495, Geoffrey Goodsell (C) 485.

TICEHURST AND ETCHINGHAM: Elected - Ian Jenkins (C) 663, John Cotter (C) 633. Not elected -

Albert Barrass (LD) 542, Mary Varrall (LD) 542.