Conservative wins by-election to restore majority at Suffolk County Council

Robin Vickery

Robin Vickery - Credit: Archant

Conservative Robin Vickery has won the Carlford seat on the authority in a by-election, restoring his party’s overall majority in the chamber at Endeavour House.

Mr Vickery, who was county councillor for North West Ipswich from 2009-2013, was elected with a majority of 798 in the division that covers a rural area stretching from Westerfield and Witnesham to Earl Soham and Brandeston.

The seat became vacant following the death of Peter Bellfield earlier in the year.

Mr Vickery is also a member of Ipswich Council and is chairman of the Ipswich Branch of the Royal British Legion.

He said the challenge of representing a rural area would be different to that in Ipswich.

“I have 26 villages in the division, with 24 parish councils so there will be a lot to do.

“The main issue seems to be rural broadband which seems to have slowed down a bit recently – I will be pushing that at the council.

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“And there is a concern about traffic speeding through villages – people in Otley are particularly concerned that the road has just been repaired but that has just meant traffic is going faster than ever through the village and there are concerns in other villages as well.”

Mr Vickery’s victory means the Conservatives now hold 37 of the 75 seats at the county council – but one of the “opposition” seats is held by Independent Brian Riley who left the Tory group when he emigrated to the US. When he does return for a meeting he almost always votes with his former colleagues.

Carlford result:

Robin Vickery, Conservative 1,142

Canon Graham Hedger, Labour 344

Jon Neal, Liberal Democrats 228

Jacqueline Barrow, Green Party 176

Conservative majority 798