Tories retain Suffolk County Council control - but Greens make huge gains
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
The Conservatives have kept an overall majority at the Suffolk County Council elections - but the Green party has surged to triple its numbers and become the largest opposition following a bruising campaign for Labour.
The Tories headed into this year's polls defending 50 of the 75 seats, and emerged from Friday's results counts with 55.
Labour had held 11 but saw that reduced to five, while the Green party tripled its numbers to nine.
The Liberal Democrats have four (down from five) while there is one Independent and one West Suffolk Independent.
The Conservatives enjoyed gains in key seats such as Gainsborough - where well known Ipswich borough councillor Liz Harsant pipped Stephen Connolly - and Gipping Valley where the Liberal Democrats' incumbent John Field opted not to seek re-election.
Independents in Haverhill Cangle and Eastgate & Moreton Hall also fell victim to the Conservatives,.
However, there were some bitter blows too - cabinet member for housing and economic development Nick Gowrley lost his seat to Keith Scraff (Liberal Democrat) - the same candidate who defeated him in the 2019 district elections, while the Greens ousted former Conservative council leader Mark Bee in Beccles.
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Conservative leader Matthew Hicks said he was pleased with the result, and paid tribute to those who had not secured enough votes this time around.
He added: "Over the last 14 months Suffolk has been recognised nationally in doing a very good job in supporting residents through the pandemic, and I do think it's been recognised. But I also think we have won on a manifesto that's very clear, forward thinking and positive."
The Green pick-ups were largely in Mid Suffolk and in the north, including Mid Suffolk district councillors Keith Welham and Andy Mellen. Elsewhere their Sudbury candidate Jessie Carter was a shock winner in Sudbury with Simon Harley in Peninsula another gain. Halesworth was another secured with a couple of hundred votes.
Andrew Stringer from the Green group said: the result demonstrated the gains in the district elections in 2019 were not a one-off but a trend, and added: "We realised that if we had a very very good day we could triple our seats and our vote share in Suffolk, and that's precisely what we have done against a 10-point Conservative surge across the country. That shouldn't be underestimated."
Labour endured a tough day losing its seats in Sudbury and Gunton, as well as losing Gainsborough and one of the Whitton and Whitehouse places.
The party however did narrowly secure a return for former MP Sandy Martin to the county council, just taking the Rushmere division.
Group leader Sarah Adams said the day was "deeply disappointing".
"It's a reflection of the national picture and it's also a reflection of a national pandemic, and I think people do have a fear of change at a time when people want to just feel okay," she said.
"I am sad for colleagues - county and borough - who haven't kept or didn't win their seats, we have lost a lot of talent. We need to have a serious think about what we do next."
Belstead Brook: Christopher Hudson (C)* 1,087, David Busby (LD) 721, Keith Wade (L) 333. Turnout: 32.7%. Con hold.
Cosford: Robert Lindsay (G)* 2,122, Jordan Millward (C) 1,178, Christopher Mills (L) 115. Turnout: 48.5%. Green hold.
Great Cornard: Peter Beer (C)* 1,040, Emma Bishton (L) 586, Marjorie Bark (LD) 253, James Killbery (G) 222. Turnout: 29.8%. Con hold.
Hadleigh: Mick Fraser (C)* 763, Kathryn Grandon (Ind) 647, Gale Pryor (G) 393, Trevor Sheldrick (LD) 172, Angela Wiltshire (L) 172. Turnout: 33%. Con hold.
Melford: Richard Kemp (Ind)* 1,696, Peter Stevens (C) 865, Ralph Carpenter (G) 304, Kimberley Clements (L)* 232. Turnout: 38.3%. Ind hold.
Peninsula: Simon Harley (G) 1,444, Mary McLaren (C) 1.029, Alastair McCraw (Ind) 699, Keith Rawlings (L) 237. Turnout: 42.8%. Green gain from Lib Dem.
Samford: Georgia Hall (C) 1,968, Mark Hurley (Ind) 552, Sallie Davies (G) 545, Ian Perry (L) 400. Turnout: 42.7%. Con hold.
Stour Valley: James Finch (C)* 1,499, Bryn Hurren (LD) 1,072, Olivia Hughes (L) 200, Jane Carruthers (G) 191. Turnout: 47.3%. Con hold.
Sudbury: Jessie Carter (G) 1,056, Simon Sudbury (C) 721, Jake Thomas (L) 376, Trevor Cresswell (Ind) 192, Robert Spivey (LD) 168. Turnout: 36.48%. Green gain from Lab.
Sudbury East & Waldingfield: Philip Faircloth-Mutton (C) 955, Margaret Maybury (Ind) 410, Louise Fowler (L) 359, Luke Cresswell (Ind) 345, Theresa Munson (G) 222. Turnout: 34.34%. Con hold.
East Suffolk area
Aldeburgh & Leiston: T-J Haworth-Culf (C) 1,828, Ian Ilett (L) 918. Turnout: 36.2%. Con hold.
Beccles (two seats): Caroline Topping (G) 2,594, Peggy McGregor (G) 2,131, Mark Bee (C)* 2,020, Graham Catchpole (C) 1,769, Christian Newsome (L) 374, Dom Taylor (L) 368. Turnout: 41.6%. Green gain from Con and Green hold.
Blything: Richard Smith (C)* 1,523, Andrew Turner (LD) 962, Philip Harle (L) 640. Turnout: 39.9%. Con hold.
Bungay: Judy Cloke (C) 1,335, Annette Abbott (G) 1,279, Donia Slyzuk (L) 273, John Awty (LD) 145. Turnout: 41.4%. Con hold.
Carlford: Elaine Bryce (C) 2,056, Daniel Clery (G) 698, Alistair Dick (L) 500.Turnout: 45.3%. Con hold.
Felixstowe Coastal (two seats): Graham Newman (C)* 3,335, Steve Wiles (C)* 3,073, Seamus Bennett (LD) 1,256, Margaret Morris (L) 1,223, Richard Reaville (L) 897, Jan Candy (LD) 874, Lesley Bennett (G) 748, Mark Jones (Com) 173. Turnout: 39.3%. Con hold.
Felixstowe North & Trimley: Stuart Bird (C)* 1,472, David Rowe (L) 1,094. Turnout: 31.7%. Con hold.
Framlingham: Stephen Burroughes (C)* 1,917, John Mercer (LD) 572, Paul Theaker (L) 754. Turnout: 42.2%. Con hold.
Gunton (two seats): James Reeder (C)* 1,653, Ryan Harvey (C) 1,633, Janet Craig (L) 1,309, Keith Patience (L)* 1,297, Jon Coxon (G) 402, Steve Ardley (Ind)* 362, Peter Jackson (G) 348, Robin Hinton (Ind) 201. Turnout: 35.6%. Con gain from Ind and Con gain from Lab.
Halesworth: Annette Dunning (G) 1,546, Tony Goldson (C)* 1,287, Peter Coghill (L) 254, Sarah Hunt (LD) 84. Turnout: 42.6%. Green gain from Con.
Kesgrave & Rushmere St Andrew (two seats): Debbie McCallum (C) 3,542, Stuart Lawson (C)* 2,964, Kevin Archer (L) 1,160, Lesley Bensley (L) 848, Brad Clements (LD) 756, Harrison Foster (G) 698. Turnout: 34.5%. Con hold.
Kessingland & Southwold: Michael Ladd (C)* 1,513, Adam Robertson (LD) 831, Alan Green (L) 608. Turnout: 39.5%. Con hold.
Lowestoft South (two seats): Jenny Ceresa (C)* 2,094, Jamie Starling (C)* 1,744, Sonia Barker (L) 1,220, David Finnigan (L) 1,016, Elise Youngman (G) 416, Paul Light (LD) 337, Andrew Eastaugh (G) 335, John Shreeve (LD) 215. Turnout: 27%. Con hold.
Martlesham: Patti Mulcahy (C) 2,356. Ski Evans (LD) 738, Edward Lawrence (L) 687. Turnout: 40.8%. Con hold.
Oulton (two seats): Edward Back (C) 2,587, Keith Robinson (C)* 2,404, George King (L) 1,311, Nasima Begum (L) 1,231, Peter Lang (G) 410, David Youngman (G) 406. Jenny Hinton (Ind) 349, Tony Knights (Ind) 209, Dave O’Neill (LD) 133. Turnout: 30.5%. Con hold.
Pakefield (two seats): Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro (C)* 2,025, Craig Rivett (C)* 1,980, Neil Coleby (L) 928, Tess Gandy (L) 873, Alice Eastaugh (G) 367, Lee Martin (G) 242, Christopher Thomas (LD) 238 Fiona Shreeve (LD) 160. Turnout: 30.7%. Con hold.
Wickham: Alexander Nicoll (C)* 1,659, Rachel Smith-Lyte (G) 1,626, Sophie Williams (LD) 327. Turnout: 41.2%. Con hold.
Wilford: Andrew Reid (C)* 1,603, Thomas Daly (G) 565, John Cook (L) 419, James Sandbach (LD) 364. Turnout: 42.4%. Con hold.
Woodbridge: Caroline Page (LD)* 1,887, Robin Sanders (C) 1,086. Turnout: 46.9%. Lib Dem hold.
Bixley: Paul West (C)* 1,649, Paul Bones (L) 636, Stephanie Cullen (G) 244, Trevor Powell (LD) 147. Turnout: 47.14%. Con hold.
Bridge: Rob Bridgeman (L) 1.025, Mike Scanes (C) 1,004, Brieanna Patmore (G) 292, Martin Hore (LD) 189, Turnout: 30.66%. Lab hold.
Chantry (two seats): Nathan Wilson (C) 2,337, Nadia Cenci (C) 2,895, Helen Armitage (L)* 2,255, Peter Gardiner (L)* 1,970, Martin Hynes (G) 529, Adam Merritt (LD) 291, Lucy Drake (LD) 281. Turnout: 34.42%. Con gain from Lab.
Gainsborough: Liz Harsant (C) 1,673, Stephen Connelly (L) 1,162, Conrad Packwood (LD) 254, Jenny Rivett (G) 71. Turnout: 39.65%. Con gain from Lab.
Priory Heath: Bill Quinton (L)* 1,030, Edward Phillips (C) 912, Andy Patmore (G) 202, Nicholas Jacob (LD) 110. Turnout: 33.99%. Lab hold.
Rushmere: Sandy Martin (L) 1,357, Paul Cawthorn (C) 1,322, Rachel Morris (G) 234, Timothy Lockington (LD) 231. Turnout: 43.46%. Lab hold.
St Helen’s: Elizabeth Johnson (L) 1,426, Sachin Karale (C) 1,009, Tom Wilmot (G) 368, Paul Daley (LD) 212. Turnout: 36.15%. Lab hold.
St John’s: Sarah Adams (L)* 1,335, Ollie Rackham (C) 1,098, Jude Rook (G) 219, Robin Whitmore (LD) 148. Turnout: 39.68%. Lab hold.
St Margaret’s & Westgate (two seats): Inga Lockington (LD)* 2,590, Debbie Richards (C) 2,195, Assis Carreiro (L) 1,989, Oliver Holmes (LD) 1,840, Stefan Long (L) 1,517, Kirsty Wilmot (G) 965. Tina Smith (BPP) 168. Turnout: 42.65%. Con hold and Lib Dem hold.
Whitehouse & Whitton (two seats): David Goldsmith (C)* 2,546, Sam Murray (C) 2,317, Sophie Meudec (L) 2,130, Christine Shaw (L) 1,734. John Mann (G) 527, Martin Pakes (LD) 286, Gerald Pryke (LD) 147. Turnout: 33.81%. Con hold and Con gain from Lab.
Mid Suffolk area
Bosmere: Kay Oakes (C)* 1,357, Steve Phillips (LD) 1,034. Suzanne Britton (L) 395. Turnout: 34.5%. Con hold.
Gipping Valley: Chris Chambers (C)* 1,478, Adrienne Marriott (LD) 806, Terence Wilson (L) 438. Turnout: 34.75%. Con gain from Lib Dem.
Hartismere: Jessica Fleming (C)* 1,900, Stuart Masters (G) 649, Eddie Dougall (L) 532, David Appleton (LD) 224. Turnout: 40.9%. Con hold.
Hoxne & Eye: Peter Gould (C) 1,467, Guy McGregor (Ind)* 806, Timothy Glenton (LD) 623, Paul Anderson (L) 363. Turnout: 42.9%. Con hold.
Stowmarket North & Stowupland: Keith Welham (G) 1,512, Gary Green (C)* 1,373, Will Howman (L) 433. Turnout: 31.77%. Green gain from Con.
Stowmarket South: Keith Scarff (LD) 1,030, Nick Gowrley (C)* 854, Emma Bonner-Morgan (L) 380, David Card (Ind) 292. Turnout: 34.8%. Lib Dem gain from Con.
Thedwastre North: Andy Mellen (G) 1,472, Harry Richardson (C) 1,226, Jane Storey (Ind)* 706, Ursula Ajimal (L) 199. Turnout: 42.7%. Green gain from Con.
Thedwastre South: Penny Otton (LD)* 1,435 , John Augustine (C) 1,321, Philip Cockell (L) 364. Turnout: 43.4%. LD hold.
Thredling: Matthew Hicks (C)* 2,084, Helen Bridgeman (G) 602, Kathleen Hardy (L) 417, Matthew Hicks (C)*, Mark Pearson (LD) 192. Turnout: 42.64%. Con hold.
Upper Gipping: Andrew Stringer(G)* 2,250 , Kieren Lathangue-Clayton (C) 1,075, Julie Reynolds (L) 231. Turnout: 45.64%. Green hold.
West Suffolk area
Blackbourn: Joanna Spicer (C)* 2,421, Warren Lakin (G) 534, John Bailey (L) 469. Turnout: 41.39%. Con hold.
Brandon: Victor Lukaniuk (WSI)* 808, Christine Mason (C) 766, Susan Dean (L) 298, William Tanner (G) 101. Turnout: 28.4%. WSI hold.
Clare: Roberta Bennett (C) 2,322, Kerry Rogers (L) 704, Julius Bell (G) 642. Turnout: 41.09%. Con hold.
Eastgate & Moreton Hall: Peter Thompson (C) 973, Trevor Beckwith (Ind)* 788, Lorraine Allcocks (L) 378, Jessica Livsey (G) 266, Frank Warby (Ind) 266, Daniel Linehan (LD) 84. Turnout: 37.89%. Con gain from Ind.
Exning & Newmarket: Rachel Hood (C)* 1,025, Chris O’Neill (WSI) 683, Craig Warren (L) 579, Carrie Wheeler (G) 227. Turnout: 30.06%. Con hold.
Hardwick: Richard Rout (C)* 1,806 , James Macpherson (L) 448, Chris Dexter-Mills (G) 350, Helen Korfanty (LD) 329. Turnout: 44.14%. Con hold.
Haverhill Cangle (two seats): Joe Mason (C) 1,994, Heike Sowa, (C) 1,429, David Smith (L) 869, Liz Smith (L) 864, Aaron Luccarini (Ind) 467, Paula Fox (Ind)* 411, Nicola Forsdyke (G) 301, Mandy Leathers (G) 276, David Payne (LD) 189. Turnout: 26.67%. Con hold and Con gain from Ind.
Haverhill East & Kedington: David Roach (C)* 1,188, Damian Page (L) 469, Bruce Davidson (Ind) 247, Roger Mynott (G) 167. Turnout 29.27%. Con hold.
Mildenhall: Lance Stanbury (C) 1,004, Andy Neal (Ind) 855, Patrick Finn (L) 271, David Chandler (Ind) 163 Jack Blomfield (G) 151, Ben Avison (LD) 60. Turnout: 33.4%. Con hold.
Newmarket & Red Lodge: Andy Drummond (C)* 1,232, Christopher Swallow (L) 497, Andrew Appleby (WSI) 468, Simon Morse (G) 219, Robert Pinsker (LD) 210. Turnout: 25.7%. Con hold.
Row Heath: Colin Noble (C)* 1,620, Theresa Chipulina (L) 387, Don Waldron (Ind) 369. Claire Unwin (G) 305. Turnout: 29.6%. Con hold.
Thingoe North: Beccy Hopfensperger (C)* 1,961, Katie Parker (L) 471, Oliver Ingwall-King (G) 369, Ian Chapman (LD) 229. Turnout: 41.5%. Con hold.
Thingoe South: Karen Soons (C)* 2,192, Robin Davies (L) 470, Vicki Martin (G) 467, Libby Brooks (LD) 230. Turnout: 43.39%. Con hold.
Tower (two seats): Robert Everitt (C)* 2,277, David Nettleton (C)* 2,104, Steph Holland (G) 1,993, Donna Higgins (L) 1,409, Matthew Rowe (G) 1,489, Marilyn Sayer (L) 830, Frank Stennett (Ind) 691, David Poulson (LD) 269, Darren Turner (Com), 120. Turnout: 36.92%. Con hold.
Key: C – Conservative, L – Labour, LD – Liberal Democrats, G – Green Party, Ind – Independent, WSI – West Suffolk Independents, Com – Communist Party of Britain, BPP – Burning Pink Party.
The asterisk denotes a sitting councillor in that authority.