THE surprise of the night at Oxford City Council was the election of community stalwart Mick Haines.

Mr Haines won the vacant Marston seat which had previously been held by Labour’s Beverley Hazell, who had stepped down.

It was the fourth time the 71-year-old, who stood as an Independent, had run for council.

A father of six, he is well-known in the city for his numerous campaigns and petitions aimed at improving community facilities.

And the retired scaffolder put his election success to a successful five-year battle to get lights installed at the Croft Road recreation ground that saw him take a 1,200-name petition to Downing Street.

Mr Haines, who vowed his community campaigns would continue, said: “I think the people in Marston realise at last how much work I have done for them.

“They know nothing else has been done around Marston. I have fought for a lot of things and I will carry on.

“As an Independent, you can fight for all the things the area wants.”

After winning the battles of Croft Road recreation ground, he said he now wants a plaque erected to mark out the trees that were planted to commemorate Marston’s war dead.

He will join eight other new faces on the council as sitting members stood down.

No sitting councillors who stood for re-election lost their seat.

Labour’s James Fry, who took a seat in North from the Lib Dems, is the husband of Susanna Pressel, a Labour member for Jericho and Osney.

He said: “I cannot have a better guide and mentor.”

Oxford University student Sam Hollick, 21, who hails from Worcestershire, won Holywell for the Greens from the Lib Dems.