CONSERVATIVE Vic Flores took top spot in yesterday's Shrub End by-election. 

The Tory won 39 per cent of the vote, with 681 votes.

His nearest challenger was Labour's Mike Dale, who garnered 572 votes. 

The by-election was called after Lib Dem Karen Chaplin stepped down in July however the fresh candidate, Sam McCarthy finished in third place, with 373 votes. 

Independent Mike Clark took 54 votes, ahead of Ukip's Bruno Hickman, with 52, and the Green Party's Victoria Weaver, with 34 votes. 

Mr Flores, who came fifth in the all-out elections last year, said he was delighted to come out on top.

He said: "I am absolutely elated.

"When you are campaigning it is really to know how you are doing - you have good days and bad days."

Mr Flores paid tribute to Colchester MP Will Quince for taking time out to help campaign with him, and fellow Shrub End councillor Pauline Hazell for her help during the campaign.

He said the council's new recycling system, the state of the town centre and overdevelopment were key issues with voters.

He said: "The new waste system is very harsh and there is no doubt it is deeply unpopular.

"You only have to look at the queues at the dump to see more people are going there to throw away black bags which are not collected.

"People are also generally fed up at the state of the town centre.

"It looks dirty and is a generally unappealing place to go at the moment.

"The sheer number of houses being built is also unpopular."