From mayor to councillor
By David LennardTHE newly-elected councillor representing Southwold and Reydon is looking forward to making her mark on the district council.Sue Allen was Mayor of Southwold for the past two years and is the current deputy mayor, so she knows better than most what issues are important to people in the town.
By David Lennard
THE newly-elected councillor representing Southwold and Reydon is looking forward to making her mark on the district council.
Sue Allen was Mayor of Southwold for the past two years and is the current deputy mayor, so she knows better than most what issues are important to people in the town.
Standing as an Independent at last week's Waveney District Council elections, she won the Southwold and Reydon seat in a close-fought battle with the sitting Conservative councillor and council leader, Peter Austin.
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Ms Allen said: “The Conservatives did everything possible to win this seat with senior district councillors and our MP John Gummer all urging voters to turn out and support their candidate.
“So naturally I feel very honoured that the people of Southwold and Reydon gave me their support in such large numbers.”
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There was no doubt that local issues played an important part in the result and Ms Allen was quick to acknowledge that.
“There have been a number of local issues that were particularly important to the people of Southwold and Reydon, including the proposed sale of the town's caravan park,” she said.
As the former mayor prepared to take her seat in the council chamber at Lowstoft Town Hall, she has been congratulated by Southwold and Reydon residents.
“I can hardly walk a few paces along the High Street without someone coming up and offering their congratulations, which is very special,” said Ms Allen.
“I am also delighted that a lot of younger people gave me their support as it proves they care about what is happening in the area.”
In the next few weeks Ms Allen will begin her work on the district council and believed being an Independent would help her enormously.
“The reason I stood as an Independent was that I felt it would enable me to represent local people better,” she said.
“Not being tied to any political party will enable me to speak up on issues that affect not only Southwold and Reydon, but the whole district.”
With no single party in overall control of the district council, the role of the seven Independent councillors - who includ Ms Allen and Southwold and Reydon's other councillor, Michael Ladd - will prove crucial.
“The way that the independent councillors vote will play an important part in the future of Waveney District Council. It is quite a responsibility and one that we are all aware of,” she said.
One aspect that Ms Allen is keen to work on is how to improve the way Waveney District Council communicates with residents.
“This means listening to the views of residents and I know this was a problem here in Southwold and Reydon,” said Ms Allen.
“It should be made much simpler to contact the relevant officer or councillor who can deal with any perceived problems that local residents have. If our communications improve, it will help sort out any problems that may arise.”