Two former Suffolk Tory leaders hope to win back district seats

Mark Bee

Mark Bee is hoping to win a seat on East Suffolk Council. - Credit: Gregg Brown

While the main elections this year are for county councils and Police and Crime Commissioners, there are several by-elections for district seats across Suffolk - and a third of Ipswich council is up for election.

And two of the biggest names in Suffolk local Conservative politics are hoping to make a district council comeback in their respective districts after losing their seats in elections two years ago.

Former county council leaders Mark Bee and Colin Noble lost their seat in the first-ever elections for East Suffolk and West Suffolk councils respectively.

However the seats they lost - in Beccles and Lakenheath - have both got vacancies. And both are trying to get re-elected to their local districts.

But that could be a challenge - especially for Mr Bee who would have to overturn a substantial Green Party majority to regain his seat. In 2019 the Green Party managed to get two thirds of the votes in Beccles, leaving him 2,000 votes short of getting elected.

However he had topped the poll in Beccles for the last county council elections two years previously and 2019 was a very bad local election year for the Tories nationally with all the controversy over Brexit swirling around.

The district seat Mr Bee is fighting is very similar to the county council seat he is defending - and it could be a case of "all or nothing" for a politician who has led both Suffolk and Waveney Councils over the last 15 years.

Colin Noble

Colin Noble is hoping to win back a seat he lost two years ago on West Suffolk council. - Credit: Christopher Grover

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Mr Noble is standing for the Lakenheath Ward on West Suffolk Council - which is part of the Rowheath Division that he is defending in the county council election.

His task looks easier than that of Mr Bee - two years ago he was up against a well-known local independent and did not come too far behind the second-placed candidate in a two-seat ward. 

If they do manage to get re-elected to their respective authorities, both politicians could be expected to be influential figures on their authorities - but both have a tough campaign ahead.