Election 2013: Lib Dems lose Hadleigh to Tories after decades of control
- Credit: Archant
THE Conservatives made a shock win by taking Hadleigh after decades of Liberal Democrat control.
As one of the first results to be revealed at the count in Trinity Park, Ipswich, Brian Riley won the seat with a majority of 135.
For years Liberal Democrat David Grutchfield had held the seat but he retired from this year’s election leaving Trevor Sheldrick to stand.
“We have worked hard for Hadleigh as a district for the past six years and it’s a result of that past work and current work by my supporters to help get people out and vote,” Mr Riley said.
In the tightly-fought contest the Conservatives won with 584 votes ahead of the Liberal Democrats on 449.
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Third place went to the UK Independence Party candidate and town crier, Barry Nutt. He came away with 422 votes.
He said people were voting for the party because they were more representative of people’s views.
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“I think we did pretty well, we handed out 3,000 leaflets in Hadleigh. I am pleased,” Mr Nutt said.
In the previous 2009 election UKIP had no standing candidate for Hadleigh. In this election they competed in six out of 10 divisions in the Babergh area.
Angela Wiltshire, campaigned for Labour in the town and came fourth with 308 votes.
She said: “I am a bit shocked at the votes for UKIP. I am going to have to go back and think about what that it means in Hadleigh. I am quite disappointed. I think from my experience on the door step in Hadleigh there’s a large proportion who do not vote and I think that’s quite sad. I am a bit concerned about how much publicity other parties have had.”
Senior Liberal Democrat John Field, who kept his Gipping Valley seat, said there was always a “big risk” when a party changed its candidate.
He said: “It’s a blow, we do have councillors who work very hard and have got a good personal following. We have to realise we are a party of government and we are not a party of protest. We have been doing some pretty bad things to sort out the economy and someone has to get a kicking for it.”
But the Liberal Democrats did hold on to Belstead Brook despite losing 490 votes. Former county council opposition leader Kathy Pollard gave way to new candidate David Busby who won with 692 votes. The Conservatives were second with 617 votes.
In the Conservative-dominated seat of Cosford, Green Party candidate Robert Lindsay made large inroads with 1,128 votes. But it was not enough to change the colour of the division with Jenny Antill winning a reduced majority of 1,450 seats from the 2009 total of 1,933.
The Liberal Democrats were pushed from second to fourth place in Great Cornard. They lost 466 votes with Labour gaining 288 seats to come second. Green Party candidate Dean Walton took 320 votes with Conservative Peter Beer winning 728.
The Bures St Mary ward of Babergh District Council held a by-election on the day. Conservative James Cartlidge held the seat with 305 votes.