Candidates unveiled for Aldeburgh and Leiston by-election

Sizewell A and Sizewell B nuclear power plants - EDF hopes to have Sizewell C sitting alongside Pict

Suffolk coastal tourism and Sizewell will be among the topics close to voters' hearts in the Aldeburgh and Leiston by-election - Credit: Su Anderson

The candidates contesting the Aldeburgh and Leiston by-election for East Suffolk Council next month have been unveiled.

Two of the three seats in the ward are to be elected, after the resignation of two Conservatives, T-J Haworth-Culf and Jocelyn Bond. Tony Cooper, also Conservative, has not resigned and remains councillor for the area.

Seven candidates from four parties are contesting the two seats, with voters casting their ballot on Thursday, July 8.

The votes will then be counted once polling has ceased at 10pm, with winners expected to be declared in the early hours of Friday morning.

The candidates are as follows:

Thomas Daly (Green)

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Ian Ilett (Labour)

Steve Marsling (Communist Party of Great Britain)

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Matt Oakley (Green)

Russ Rainger (Conservative)

Andrew Reid (Conservative)

Mark Turner (Labour)

Ipswich, Framlingham and Lakenheath are among areas of Suffolk due for local elections in 2021. Pict

Voters will cast their ballots on July 8 for the two vacant Aldeburgh and Leiston seats at East Suffolk Council - Credit: Gregg Brown

Mr Rainger had previously served on Suffolk County Council for Aldeburgh and Leiston but opted not to stand in the 2021 polls, his seat there being won by TJ Haworth-Culf.

Mr Reid meanwhile is a senior Conservative at Suffolk County Council, having previously been the cabinet member for highways and now holding the public health and protection portfolio.

For Labour, Mr Ilett stood in the May elections for the county council for Aldeburgh and Leiston, as well as contesting the Aldeburgh seat back in 2015 at East Suffolk's predecessor Suffolk Coastal authority. Mark Turner made a bid in the 2017 county council elections for Blything.

Thomas Daly stood in the recent county elections for the Greens in the Wilford division, while Matt Oakley is a local football coach who stood for the party in the 2019 district council polls for Aldeburgh and Leiston.

Communist candidate Mr Marsling, local branch chairman, has experience in politics from his time as a councillor in the London Borough of Southwark, but has lived in Leiston for the last decade.

The Liberal Democrats have opted not to stand any candidates, although in the past the party has struck arrangements with Green candidates at various seats across the district and county so that they do not split votes.

Plans for the Sizewell C development are expected to be one of the big topics for voters, with Mrs Bond citing East Suffolk Council's stance on that and the offshore wind farms as being a key reason for her standing down.

Another important talking point will be the recovery of coastal communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, with the tourism industry a major economic factor for the area.

The hefty Conservative majority at the authority means that the overall control of the council cannot change, with the current set-up comprising 37 Conservatives, seven Labour members, four Greens, three Liberal Democrats and one Independent.

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