Little change at Suffolk councils

WHILE it may have been all change nationally, at Suffolk councils which voted on Thursday, the existing administrations remained firmly in place.

At Ipswich Borough Council the Labour opposition picked up two seats, one from the Conservatives and one from the Liberal Democrats who are in coalition at Grafton House.

But that was not enough to wrest control back from the ruling administration who now have 25 seats against the opposition’s 23.

The Conservatives maintained overall control of Waveney District Council following local elections held on Thursday.

One of the seats in Ipswich was won by Labour by just two votes after two recounts.

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Whitehouse Ward was previously held by Liberal Democrat Steve Williams – but former Labour council leader David Ball won it back with a majority of two over former Tory councillor Paul Carter.

After the results were declared Conservative and Liberal Democrat group leaders Liz Harsant and Andrew Cann said they would be continuing with their joint administration.

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Mrs Harsant said: “It will be a bit closer but we will carry on and it should be business as usual. And having a Conservative MP for Ipswich will make life much better.”

Mr Cann said his group had been happy at the way the council had been run and at its influence on it. He said: “There are a lot of things that we still want to do and I’m sure we’ll reach an agreement very quickly this afternoon.”

Labour leader David Ellesmere was disappointed to have missed out on his party’s other targets – Labour captured the Conservative seat in Sprites ward as well as the Whitehouse ward from the LibDems.

“There is a lot of concern about the future of council services and we shall be working very hard to ensure that the voters of Ipswich are heard,” he said.

In Waveney A total of 16 seats were contested with the Conservatives winning 10 and Labour six Labour gained Whitton from the Conservatives and Kirkley from the Liberal Democrats.

Meanwhile, Richard Smith (Con) was elected as county councillor for the Aldeburgh and Leiston division in a by-election, replacing Ron Ward who stood down. Mr Smith got 2,240 votes, Joan Girling (LD) 1,439 and Terry Hodgson (Lab) 1,243.

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