Babergh local elections 2019: Tories bid to form coalition after losing majority

PUBLISHED: 16:02 03 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2019

Action from the Babergh and Mid Suffolk election count, Suffolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Action from the Babergh and Mid Suffolk election count, Suffolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

The Conservatives have taken a hit at the Babergh District Council 2019 local elections, losing an overall majority.

Action from the Babergh and Mid Suffolk election count, Suffolk. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodAction from the Babergh and Mid Suffolk election count, Suffolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

There were 11 fewer seats than at the last election in 2015, but with Tories across the country losing out as a result of Brexit and protest votes the Conservatives have lost overall control.

They still remain the largest single party with 15 seats, eight Independents, four Greens, three Liberal Democrats and two for Labour.

It means that Conservative council leader John Ward will now have to meet with other parties or Independents in a bid to try and form an administration.

Mr Ward said: “I would like to think as the largest group we would be able to form some sort of coalition.

“We have certainly taken some punishment as a result of the national picture.

“In the countryside the Greens have been the primary beneficiaries of a protest vote, but we still have a good number [of Conservatives] at Babergh.

“We have 15 out of the 32 – it's not a majority but it's something I think we can work with others to form an administration that is representative of all views.”

Among some of the key headlines were both Lee Parker (Assington) and Kathryn Grandon (Hadleigh South) retaining seats in their capacity as Independents, having both previously stood as Conservatives.

The Conservatives lose overall control of Babergh District Council after the 2019 local elections at Wherstead Park. Picture: JASON NOBLEThe Conservatives lose overall control of Babergh District Council after the 2019 local elections at Wherstead Park. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Mr Parker opted to defect while cabinet member for communications Mrs Grandon was placed in the extraordinary situation where her own party failed to re-select her.

Elsewhere, Green county councillor Robert Lindsay claimed the North West Cosford seat, while two cabinet members lost their seats – planning cabinet member Nick Ridley didn't secure enough votes for the Orwell ward and Simon Barrett lost his Sudbury North West seat.

Despite fears beforehand that Brexit and apathy to party politics may have deterred voters, the district experienced a reasonably healthy 36% overall turnout.

The full results are published below:

Assington: Lee Parker (Ind)* 415, David Holland (C) 278, Laura Smith (G) 146. Turnout 39.34%.

Box Vale: Bryn Hurren (LD)* 833, Jacqueline Rawlinson (C) 207. Turnout 47.77%.

Brantham: Alastair McCraw (Ind)* 712, William Shropshire (C) 59, Caroline Wheeler (G) 58. Turnout 40.59%.

Brett Vale: John Ward (C)* 458, Stephen Laing (Ind) 314, Philippa Draper (G) 211, Stephen Williams (Ind) 44. Turnout 40.75%.

Bures St Mary & Nayland: Melanie Barrett (C)* 405, Miriam Burns (G) 356. Turnout 34.17%.

Capel St Mary: Susan Carpendale (LD)* 681, Delme Thompson (C) 180. Turnout 37.61%.

Chadacre (two seats): Stephen Plumb (Ind)* 983, Michael Holt (C)* 780, Luis Orna Diaz (G) 372, Felix Reeves Whymark (G) 324. Turnout 31.29%.

Copdock & Washbrook: David Busby (LD)* 604, Barry Gasper (C)* 380. Turnout 39.78%.

East Bergholt: Alan Hinton (Ind) 432, Dominic Torrington (C) 292, Sallie Davies (G) 250. Turnout 42.89%.

Ganges: Derek Davis (Ind)* 561, Paul Clarke (C) 111, Sharon-Anne Kennedy (G) 65, Anthony Ingram (LD) 54. Turnout 41.97%.

Great Cornard (three seats): Peter Beer (C)* 703, Mark Newman (C)* 682, Honor Grainger-Howard (C) 640, Tony Bavington (Lab)* 553, Tracey Welsh (Lab) 504, Stewart Sheridan (Lab) 463, Dean Walton (G) 372, Andrew Liffen (G) 309, Tobias Horkan (G) 290, Marjorie Bark (LD) 254. Turnout 25.44%.

Hadleigh North: Sian Dawson (C)* 236, Karen Harman (LD) 146, Angela Wiltshire (Lab) 143, Peter Lynn (G) 131. Turnout 32.46%.

Hadleigh South (two seats): Kathryn Grandon (Ind)* 832, Michael Fraser (C) 436, Matthew Pescott-Frost (C) 392, Amy Aylett (G) 368, Rickaby Shearly-Sanders (Lab) 328, Sophie Ship (G) 245. Turnout 34.01%.

Lavenham (two seats): Margaret Maybury (C)* 745, Clive Arthey (Ind)*, Philip Faircloth-Mutton (C) 624, Karen Marshall (G) 541, Leon Stedman (UKIP). Turnout 39.11%.

Long Melford (two seats): John Nunn (Ind)* 1,276, Elisabeth Malvisi (C) 625, Janet Smith (G) 383, John Smith (G) 206. Turnout 36.35%.

North West Cosford: Robert Lindsay (G) 690, Alexandra Dawson (C) 287. Turnout 45.58%.

Orwell: Jane Gould (G) 654, Nick Ridley (C)* 249. Turnout 44.81%.

South East Cosford: Leigh Jamieson (G) 708, Alan Ferguson (C)* 440. Turnout 54.91%.

Sproughton & Pinewood (two seats): Zachary Norman (C) 508, Richard Hardacre (G) 437, David Plowman (Lab) 436, Christopher Hudson (C) 352. TUrnout 24.11%.

Stour: Mary McLaren (C) 292, Christopher Sawyer (Ind) 259, Michael Bamford (LD) 225, Lyndon Ship (G) 161. Turnout 40.46%.

Sudbury North East: Alison Owen (Lab) 190, Gary Quinlan (C) 136, Paul Dalley (UKIP), Theresa Munson (G) 63. Turnout 25.51%.

Sudbury North West (two seats): Jan Osborne (C)* 411, Trevor Cresswell (Lab) 372, Simon Barrett (C)* 361, Nigel Bennett (LD) 303, Daniel Williams (Lab) 285, Michael Chapman (G) 216, Robert Spivey (LD) 212, John Burch (G) 166. Turnout 30.83%.

Sudbury South East: Adrian Osborne (C)* 260, Luke Cresswell (Lab)* 210, Heather James (G) 79, Richard Platt (LD) 67. Turnout 30.81%.

Sudbury South West: Susan Ayres (C)* 262, Nicola Dixon (Lab) 205, Andrew Welsh (LD) 99, Julie Fowles-Smith (G) 86, Robert Darvell (Ind) 84. Turnout 34.81%.#

Key: * Denotes previous sitting candidate C – Conservative, Lab – Labour, LD – Liberal Democrats, Ind – Independent, UKIP – UK Independence Party, G – Green Party.

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