Lib Dems hold the keys to Suffolk power
A DETERMINED Liberal Democrat campaign is threatening to derail Labour's bid to remain the largest political party on Suffolk county council.Ironically, the county wide onslaught by the Lib Dems – who have been in joint administration with Labour since 1993 – could help propel the Conservatives back into power this Thursday.
A DETERMINED Liberal Democrat campaign is threatening to derail Labour's bid to remain the largest political party on Suffolk county council.
Ironically, the county wide onslaught by the Lib Dems – who have been in joint administration with Labour since 1993 – could help propel the Conservatives back into power this Thursday.
Boundary changes have reduced the number of county divisions from 80 to 75 and a number of former seats in Ipswich, St Edmundsbury, Waveney and Suffolk Coastal have been combined, each electing two councillors.
Labour seats at risk in Ipswich include Rushmere and the double vacancy in Whitehouse & Whitton. In Suffolk Coastal, the two-member ward in Kesgrave & Rushmere St Andrew is in Tory sights while long serving Labour councillors David Lockwood and Ray Novak are in danger in the newly created two-member division of St Edmundsbury Tower, where 12 candidates are on the ballot paper.
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Labour is pinning its hopes on voters who back Tony Blair in the General Election on the same day casting their county ballot for Labour county candidates.
That happened in 1997 and 2001, but on both occasions there was an unofficial pact between Labour and the Liberal Democrats who in scores of seats did not stand against each other so as not to split the anti-Tory vote.
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This time there is no alliance to defeat the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems absent from only Upper Gipping in Mid Suffolk and Melford in Babergh.
Kathy Pollard, who is deputy leader of the county Liberal Democrats, makes no apologies for the party's strategy. "We are serious players in Suffolk politics and are aiming to get as many of our own councillors elected in the hope of forming an administration in our own right."
To win outright control of the county council, a party will need 38 seats. Neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats have revealed whether they would enter into another coalition if between them they have a majority of seats but the Conservatives have the greatest number of councillors although short of an overall majority.
In 2001, when the Tories under William Hague suffered a second battering at the polls at the General Election, the Conservatives managed to gain control of five key counties on the same day – East Sussex, Essex, Cheshire, Leicestershire, and Norfolk.
Conservatives in Suffolk have campaigned on waste and bureaucracy at county hall and have laid the blame for large council tax rises – especially the 18.5% hike in 2003 – firmly at the door of the joint Labour and Liberal Democrat administration.
Labour has countered by emphasising its policies on procurement of council services – which have saved millions of pounds a year – the improvement in social care throughout Suffolk, and the introduction of a discount travel card on trains and buses for teenagers.
Polling stations for both the General and council elections will be open from 8am to 10pm on Thursday. Counting for the General Election will take place overnight and while the results for most county divisions will be known by 2pm on Friday.
Nominations in full (listed by Suffolk district)
Belstead Brook: Richard Cave (Con), Janet Norden (Lab), *Kathy Pollard (LD)
Melford: David Burch (Con), *Richard Kemp (Ind), Mischa Wilson (Lab)
Sudbury: Errol Newman (Ind), Jack Owen (Lab), Richard Platt (LD), Raymond Smith (Con)
Sudbury East & Waldingfield: *Nicholas Irwin (Lab), Albert Pearce (Ind), Colin Spence (Con), Leon Stedman (UKIP), Andrew Welsh (LD)
Cosford: Roland Bee (Lab), Mary Munson (LD), *Jeremy Pembroke (Con)
Great Cornard: Peter Beer (Con), *Wil Gibson (Lab), Marion Press (LD)
Hadleigh: Carey Fraulo (Con), *David Grutchfield (LD), Roy O'Shaughnessy (UKIP), James Quinlan (Lab)
Peninsula: Yvonne Cartier (Con), Keith Rawlings (Lab), *David Wood (LD)
Samford: Laurie Mayer (LD), Cameron Scott (Lab), John Smith (UKIP), David Yorke-Edwards (Con)
Stour Valley: Emma Bishton (Lab), Bryn Hurren (LD), Selwyn Prior (Con)
Brandon: *Bill Bishop (Con), Pamela Brown (Lab), John French (UKIP), Catriona Pilborough (LD)
Exning & Newmarket: Paul Dwane (Lab), David Hudson (UKIP), *Don Levick (Ind), Terence Mills (WSIAP), Ian Radford (LD), *Bill Sadler (Con)
Mildenhall: David Bowman (Lab), Stephen Gunn (known as Hartley Hare) (Ind), Bert Hitt (UKIP), Eleanor Minshall (LD) *Roger Pendleton (Con)
Newmarket & Red Lodge: *Jane Andrews-Smith (LD), Lisa Chambers (Con), Joy Uney (UKIP), David Whitear (UKIP)
Row Heath: Cyril Brown (Lab), Matthew Edwards (Con), Tim Huggan (LD), Robert Newman (Ind), Ian Smith (UKIP)
Bixley: Martyn Green (Lab), *Russell Harsant (Con), Gareth Jones (LD)
Bridge: Nadia Cenci (Con), *Harold Mangar (Lab), Philip Richardson (LD)
Chantry (2): Robert Hall (Con), Oliver Holmes (LD), Kathleen Kenna (Con), *Keith Rawlingson (Lab), *Bryony Rudkin (Lab), John Whitear (LD)
Gainsborough: Robert Chambers (LD), *William Quinton (Lab), *Janet Sibley (Con)
Priory Heath: David Brown (Con), Susan Maguire (Lab), Catherine Stafford (LD)
Rushmere: Cathy French (LD), Eileen Smith (Con), *Sue Thomas (Lab)
St John's: John Carnall (Con), *Sandy Martin (Lab), Bob Zablok (LD)
St Helen's: Philip Green (LD), Elizabeth Harsant (Con), *Kevan Lim (Lab)
St Margaret's & Westgate (2): Andrew Cann (LD), Keith Herod (Lab), *Inga Lockington (LD), Julia Schubert (Con), Priscilla Steed (Con), *Bob Tostevin (Lab)
Whitehouse & Whitton (2): David Goldsmith (Con), George King (LD), *Tony Lewis (Lab), *Graham Manuel (Lab), Steven Wells (Con), Stephen Williams (LD)
Bosmere: James Higgins (Lab), Ian Mason (Ind), John Pratt (Con), Julia Truelove (LD), Tuffy Turner (Ind)
Gipping Valley: Neil Curno (Lab), Michael Damant (Con), *John Field (LD)
Hartismere: Richard Flower (LD), Elaine Halton (Lab), *Charles Michell (Con)
Hoxne: Colin Hammon (LD), Guy McGregor (Con), Christopher Soule (Lab)
Stowmarket North & Stowupland: Colin Groundsell (LD), *Duncan Macpherson (Lab), John Matthissen (Green), Eleanor Ramsey (Con)
Stowmarket South: Twiggy Davis (Green), Keith Myers-Hewitt (Con), Keith Scarff (LD), *Ron Snell (Lab)
Thedwastre North: Carol Milward (LD), Sally Spore (Lab), *Jane Storey (Con)
Thedwastre South: Suzanne Britton (Lab), *Sue Sida-Lockett (Con), Penelope Otton (LD)
Thredling: Edward Alcock (Con),*Helen Whitworth (LD)
Upper Gipping: *Jeremy Clover (Con), Marion Ravenhill (Lab), Andrew Stringer (Green)
Blackbourn: Alison Fairgrieve (Lab), Margaret Fossati (LD), Philip Huckett (UKIP), Joanna Spicer (Con)
Clare: James Lumley (UKIP), *Jane Midwood (Con), *Leslie Warmington (LD)
Eastgate & Moreton Hall: *Trevor Beckwith (Ind), David Bradbury (LD), Christopher Kisko (UKIP), Francis Warby (Con)
Hardwick: Mike Brundle (UKIP), Robert Corfe(Lab), Allan Jones (LD), *Stefan Oliver (Con)
Haverhill Cangle (2): *Jeremy Farthing (Con), Phillip French (Lab), Michael Graham (LD), Derek Gregory (UKIP), Timothy Marks (Con), Frederick Rapsey (UKIP), Lesley Robinson (LD), Ann Thomas (Lab)
Haverhill East & Kedington: Karen Knight (Con), Tracy Lumley (UKIP), Terence McNally (LD), Daniel Summers (Lab)
Thingoe North: Rondie Chessell (UKIP), David Dawson (Lab), Rebecca Hopfensperger (Con), Christopher Tidman (LD)
Thingoe South: William Attwood (UKIP), Charles Bradbury (LD), Alexander Carmichael (Lab), Terence Clements (Con)
Tower (2): David Chappell (LD), Ivan Cook (UKIP), Robert Everitt (Con), Paul Hopfensperger (Con), Brian Lockwood (UKIP), *David Lockwood (Lab), David Nettleton (Ind), Melinda Nettleton (Ind), *Ray Nowak (Lab), Adam Stacey (Green), Samantha Stacey (Green), Daniel Warren (LD)
Aldeburgh and Leiston: * Joan Girling (Lab), Lisabeth Hoad (LD), * Ronald Ward (Con).
Blything: David Jermy (Lab), * Rae Leighton (Con), John Slater (LD), Don Tricker (Ind).
Carlford: Anthony Barrett (LD), * Peter Bellfield (Con), Stephen Connelly (Lab)
Felixstowe Coastal (2): Mark Campbell (Lab), Graham Newman (Con), Michael Ninnmey (LD), Dot Paddick (LD, * Ann Rodwell (Con), Stephen Tuthill (Lab)
Felixstowe North and Trimley: John Goodwin (Con), *David Rowe (Lab), Robert Sherratt (LD)
Framlingham: Colin Hart (Con), Andrew Houseley (LD), Edna Salmon (Lab)
Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew (2): John Briggs (LD), Ronald Else (LD), Nikki Goodchild (Lab), Steven Hudson (Con), John Klaschka (Con), Stanley Robinson (Lab)
Martlesham: Thomas Guest (Lab), Macnair Kelson (LD), * Patricia O'Brien (Con)
Wickham: Clare Aitchison (Con), Barry Halliday (LD), Valerie Pizzey (Lab)
Wilford: Rosemary Clarke (Con), * Peter Monk (LD)
Woodbridge: Diana Ball (LD), Roy Burgon (Lab), Benjamin Redsell (Con)
Beccles (2): Mark Bee (Con), Liam Carroll (Green), Graham Elliott (Green), Frances Mitchell (LD), Philip Mitchell (LD), Kenneth Sale (Con), John Taylor (Lab), Alan Thwaites (Lab)
Bungay: Wendy Curry (LD), Lynn Derges (Lab), Lorna Kerrison (Green), *Morris Rose (Con)
Gunton (2): Patricia Anderson (LD), Dorothy Blenkinsopp (Ind), Nancy Cuss (Con), Peter Guyton (LD), Lucille Mason (Green), Maxine Narburgh (Green), Keith Patience (Lab), David Provan (Con), *David Thomas (Lab)
Halesworth: Jennifer Berry (Green), Alan Brown (Lab), Wendy Mawer (Con), Roberta Pumer (LD)
Kessingland & Southwold: *John Goldsmith (Con), Christopher Mackinnon (LD), Michael Pickles (Lab), John Windell (Green)
Lowestoft South (2): Gifford Baxter (LD), Christopher Goodings (Green), Gary Hilton (Green), *Jane Hore (Lab), Frank Mortimer (Con), Andrew Sheppard (LD), James Starling (Con), *Julian Swainson (Lab)
Oulton (2): Mike Barnard (Con), Allyson Barron (Lab), Leslie Batchelder (LD), John Burford (Con), Malcolm Cherry (Lab), Peter Collecott (Ind), George Hawes (Ind), Jennifer Hinton (Ind), Stepher Sizer (Green), Kerry Taylor (Green), Anthony Tibbitt (LD)
Pakefield (2): Stephen Barrett (Lab), Brenna Batchelder (LD), *Roger Bellham (Lab), Janice Corbett (Con), Brian Keller (Con), Sandra Tonge (LD), Emma Waller (Green).
THERE will be a district council by-election in the St Margaret's division of Waveney on Thursday. Candidates are: Brenna Batchelder (Lib Dem), Colin Boor (Green Party), John Burford (Con) and John Fryers (Lab).
C, Conservative; Lab, Labour, LD, Liberal Democrat; UKIP, United Kingdom Independence Party; Green, Green Party, WSIAP, West Suffolk Independence Alliance Party; Ind, Independent.