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Good night for Labour in Suffolk as party wins two council seats

PUBLISHED: 10:13 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:25 08 September 2017

Sarah Adams held the St John's seat that was previously won by Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sarah Adams held the St John's seat that was previously won by Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Labour won two by-elections for council seats in Suffolk on Thursday – snatching a seat in Sudbury by a single vote.

Luke CresswellLuke Cresswell

The party’s Luke Cresswell won the Sudbury South by-election for a seat on Babergh Council with 336 votes to Conservative Simon Sudbury’s 335.

The seat had become vacant after Conservative Councillor David Holland resigned earlier this year – claiming that the district council’s leadership had reneged on a promise of a senior role at the authority.

In 2015 he had had a five-vote majority over Mr Cresswell, so voters in the Sudbury South are used to making their winning candidates sweat over the result!

Labour’s Sarah Adams successfully defended the St John’s Division on the county council which had been held by Sandy Martin in May’s elections.

He resigned in July after being elected MP for Ipswich in June. Ms Adams had been Labour councillor for St Margaret’s and Westgate until she lost her seat in May despite increasing her vote.

She pushed the Labour majority up from 622 to 764.

Mr Cresswell said his victory in Sudbury had been hard-fought, but he was delighted the effort had paid off.

He said: “The voters put us through it again, but I am delighted that the work on the street has been worth it – but it is a low turnout.

“We now have two Labour councillors on Babergh, so we can form a group!” – he joins Great Cornard councillor Tony Bavington on the authority.

Ms Adams was delighted by her success in St John’s – a part of Ipswich she knows well.

She said: “I was brought up in this part of the town so when we were going around campaigning I kept bumping into people I knew.

“My main interests at the council will be health and social care – but there is so much to do there and we only have 11 councillors (out of 75).”

Full results:

St John’s Division, Ipswich (Suffolk County Council)

Sarah Adams (Labour) 1,247

James Harding (Conservative) 483

Ed Packard (Liberal Democrat) 200

Charlotte Armstrong (Green) 52

Sudbury South (Babergh Council).

Luke Cresswell (Labour) 336

Simon Sudbury (Conservative) 335

Andrew Welsh (Liberal Democrat) 116

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A Suffolk authority promoting campaigns to stop smoking has reduced its pension investments in tobacco firms – but says it still will not disinvest in cigarette firms entirely.

A fresh purge of Suffolk’s potholes with an innovative road repair machine is set to kick off this week, thanks to cash from the Chancellor’s Budget.

Suffolk County Council has defended its decision to pursue traffic calming measures in Sudbury instead of a bypass, claiming that the high costs meant it was “never going to get funding”.

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Train services are suspended between Ipswich and Felixstowe due to a signal fault on the line.

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