The Dunstable Northfields ward by-election for the seat on Central Bedfordshire Council left vacant following the death of Denise Green was won by Bev Coleman.
The independent candidate secured 434 votes, ahead of Conservative candidate Jeannette Freeman on 305 votes.
Ms Coleman told the Gazette: “I’m not frightened to be the voice of the people.
“I’m looking forward to it. A lot of people are not happy with the way things are and this place needs someone to speak up for them.
“I have a great respect for Mrs Green and her husband, it’s very unfortunate.”
Labour candidate Duncan Ross came third with 297 votes, while Garry Lelliot of UKIP was fourth with 227 votes.
Lynda Walmsley of the Liberal Democrats attracted 35 votes to finish fifth.
The voting turnout for the by-election was 19.2 per cent out of a total electorate of 6,794
Mrs Green – a Conservative councillor – passed away unexpectedly at her home in Totternhoe Road, Dunstable, on June 27.
She was the widow of Councillor Tony Green, a former Mayor of Dunstable.
The MP for South West Beds Andrew Selous, for whom Mrs Green was constituency secretary, said shortly after her death: “Denise was a very kind and caring person who always went out of her way to help and look after other people.
“I am greatly saddened by her death and send my deepest condolences to her family and friends.”
Ms Coleman is a former Labour councillor for the Northfields ward.