Labour ex-mayors crash out in Ipswich

FOUR former Labour mayors of Ipswich were defeated last night at the borough swung heavily towards the ruling Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition.

By Graham Dines

FOUR former Labour mayors of Ipswich were defeated last night at the borough swung heavily towards the ruling Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition.

Roger Fern in Stoke Park, long serving Albert Grant in Whitehouse and Hamil Clarke in Whitton, and Ian Grimwood in Sprites lost their seats as the Tories and Lib Dems cashed in on the unpopularity of the Government following the publicity over John Prescott's affair and Charles Clarke's admission that prisoners had been released into society rather than being deportred.

The Conservatives made three gains - Sprites, Stoke Park and Whitton while the Liberal Democrats took Whitehouse and Alexander from Labour.


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Labour's loss of five councillors gives them 18 seats on the authority. The Tories' three gains gives them 19. The Lib Dems have nine and the Independent Conservatives two.

Between them, the Tories and Lib Dems have 28 seats and will continue in coaltion.

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Mr Fern, Mr Clarke and Mr Grimwood lost to Conservatives while Mr Grant was defeated by a Liberal Democrat.

Andrew Cann, the son of Jamie Cann, former MP for IPswich and one time Labour leader of the council, narrowly failed in his bid to win a seat for the Liberal Democrats. He was defeated by sitting councillor Mary Blake by 20 votes in Westgate ward, and the result was held up by two recounts.

However, the Conservatives failed to gain St John's ward, where the party's constituency chairman Gavin Maclure was unable to overturn Sandy Martin, who is also a county councillor for the ward.

The biggest personal triumph of the night was the re-election of the current mayor, Bill Wright, a Tory, who romped home with more than 50% of the vote in the rock solid Tory territory of Bixley.

Despite the sunny weather, turnout was disappointing, with only St Margaret's approaching 50%.

In some wards, normally regarded as safe for Labour, fewer than 30% bothered to vote. This may have led to the defeat of Mr Grant, as the Liberal Democrats expended a lot of time and effort in Whitehouse ward.

ALEXANDRA

Philip Green (LD) 734

Elizabeth Cooper (Lab) 603

Edward Phillips (Con) 413

John Taylor (Green) 213

LD majority 131.

LD gain from Lab. Turnout: 33.54%

BIXLEY

*William Wright (Con) 1,438

Gareth Jones (LD) 503

Barry Studd (Lab) 347

Con maj 935.

No change. Turnout: 39.2%

BRIDGE

*James Powell (Lab) 786

Richard Pope (Con) 602

Christine Chambers (LD) 296

Lab maj 184.

No change. Turnout: 29.26%

GAINSBOROUGH

*Sally Brown (Lab) 842

Kevern Mulley 569

Robin Whitmore 283

Paul Billingham (OMRLP) 88

Lab maj 273.

No change. Turnout: 28.92%

GIPPING

*Jeannette MacArtney (Lab) 724

Maureen Springle (Con) 554

Dafydd Taylor (LD) 329

Lab maj 282.

No change. Turnout: 27.9%

HOLYWELLS

*George Dedman (Con) 802

Robert Chambers (L.D) 520

Steve Buckingham (Lab) 375

Con majority 282

No change. Turnout: 34.5%

PRIORY HEATH

John Cook (Lab) 704

Michelle Bevan-Margetts (Con) 626

Jill Atkins (LD) 308

Sally Wainman (Ind) 125

Lab majority 78

No change. Turnout: 30%

RUSHMERE

*Judy Terry (Con) 982

Alasdair Ross 805

Cathy French (LD) 630

Con maj 177.

No change. Turnout: 39.6%

SPRITES

Robert Hall (Con) 926

*Ian Grimwood (Lab) 840

John Whitear (LD) 215

Con maj 86.

Con gain from Lab. Turnout: 36.3%

ST JOHN'S

*Sandy Martin (Lab) 946

Gavin Maclure (Con) 826

Howard Stanley (LD) 492

Lois Hickey (Green) 150

Lab maj 120.

No change. Turnout: 39.95%

STOKE PARK

Nadia Cenci (Con) 847

*Roger Fern (Lab) 655

Adrian Brown (LD) 277

Con maj 192

Con gain. Turnout: 31.54%

WHITEHOUSE

Stephen Williams (LD) 757

*Albert Grant (Lab) 544

Christopher Stewart (Con)

LD maj 213

LD gain. Turnout: 29.78%

CASTLE HILL

*Harry Davies (Con) 1,411

Nigel Cheeseman (LD) 502

John Harris (Lab) 451

Con maj 909

No change. Turnout: 28.92%

ST MARGARET'S

*Inga Lockington (LD) 1.426

Andrew Booth (Con) 929

William Knowles (Lab) 280

Amelia Drayson (Green) 197

LD maj 497

No change. Turnout: 49.7%

WESTGATE

*Mary Blake (Lab) 670

Andrew Cann (LD) 650

Claire Disney (LD) 418

Colin Rodgers (Green) 136

Lab maj 20

No change. Turnout: 30.3%

WHITTON

Stephen Wells (Con) 1,069

*Hamil Clarke (Lab) 705

Sally Scott (LD) 275

Con maj 364

Con gain. Turnout: 275

*denotes councillor seeking re-election:

Key: Con, Conservative' Green, Green Party; Ind, Independent; Lab, Labour'; OMRLP, Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

Composition of council before yesterday's election: Lab 23, Con 16, LD 7, Independent Conservative 2.

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