Labour hoping to fight back in Ipswich

THE Tory-Liberal Democrat ruling coalition faces a severe test in next month's elections to Ipswich borough council as it defends a number of seats gained four years' ago.

Graham Dines

THE Tory-Liberal Democrat ruling coalition faces a severe test in next month's elections to Ipswich borough council as it defends a number of seats gained four years' ago.

Hamil Clarke is hoping to re-take St John's which Labour lost in 2004. He is helped by Tory borough finance portfolio holder John Carnall deciding not to defend the ward - he has switched to the ultra safe Conservative stronghold of Bixley.

Labour is making an all-out effort to capture is Bridge, where the former leader of Suffolk county council Bryony Rudkin is trying to overturn a Conservative majority of just 12 when it gained the seat in 2004.

Another prominent county councillor hoping to win a seat on the borough is Russell Harsant, a vocal supporter of Ipswich's bid to become a unitary authority, who is standing in Bixley. The husband of Ipswich council leader Liz Harsant, Mr Harsant has shown his independence from Suffolk Tories by voting against the closure of middle schools, the controversial appointment of a new chief executive on a salary of £220,000, and the county's counter proposals for an Ipswich unitary.

Sally Wainman, the hospital nurse who has been campaigning for the reopening of Broom Hill lido, is standing as an independent again in Priory Heath and the UK Independence Party is fielding candidates in St John's and Whitehouse wards.

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The Greens are hoping to make a breakthrough onto the council and have put up candidates in Alexandra, Bixley, Bridge, Castle Hill, Gipping, St John's St Margaret's, and Westgate.

There are double vacancies in Bixley and Gainsborough wards, making 18 contests in all. Labour and the Tories have candidates for every seat, while the Liberal Democrats have nominated 17, opting out of Gipping.

Polling day is May 1.

NOMINATED CANDIDATES

Alexandra: Brenda Cavanagh (Green), Louise Gooch (LD, Martin Goonan (Lab), Janice Rawlings (Con)

Bixley (2 seats): John Carnall (Con), Russell Harsant (Con), Adrian Hedge (Green), Lindsey Rawlingson (Lab), Emma Stock (Lab), Alison Williams (LD), Clive Witter (LD)

Bridge: Rick Deeks (Green), Christopher Newbury (LD), Bryony Rudkin (Lab), James Spencer (Con)

Castle Hill: Nigel Cheeseman (LD), John Harris (Lab), Jenny Overett (Green), Robin Vickery (Con)

Gainsborough (2 seats): Martin Cook (Lab), Kathleen Kenna (Con), John Mowles (Lab), Jamie Scott (LD), Sally Scott (LD), Janet Sibley (Con)

Gipping: David Ellesmere (Lab), Tony Slade (Green), Maureen Springle (Con)

Holywells: Robert Chambers (LD), Kenneth Douglas (Lab), David Hale (Con)

Priory Heath: Nick Jacob (LD), Eddy Phillips (Con), Bill Quinton (Lab), Sally Wainman (Ind)

Rushmere: Paul Carter (Con), Leslie Nicholls (LD), Alasdair Ross (Lab)

Sprites: Richard Kirby (Lab), Medlin Spencer (Con), Heidi Williams (LD)

St John's: Jill Atkins (LD), Hamil Clarke (Lab), Tanya de Hoedt (Con), Steven Pritchard (Green), Bill Vinyard (UKIP)

St Margaret's: Richard Atkins (LD), Elizabeth Cooper (Lab), Amelia Drayson (Green), Mary Young (Con)

Stoke Park: Timothy Lockington (LD), Barry Studd (Lab), Paul West (Con)

Westgate: Ian Fisher (Con), Carole Jones (Lab), Russell Metcalfe (Ind), Colin Rodgers (Green), Robin Whitmore (LD)

Whitehouse: Albert Grant (Lab), Anthony James (LD), Ben Matthews (Con), John West (UKIP)

Whitton: Susan Crocker (Lab), Jonathan Lockington (LD), Donald Ward (Con).

Key: Conservative (Con), Green Party (Green), Independent (Ind), Labour (Lab), Liberal Democrat (LD), UK Independence Party (UKIP).

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