Who's standing down in Suffolk's 2021 local elections?
- Credit: Simon Lee
Whatever voters decide at this year's local elections, there will be major changes in Suffolk - as some leading councillors have announced they are not seeking re-election.
Deputy council leader Mary Evans is stepping down from Suffolk County Council and is not seeking re-election in her Clare division.
She is also cabinet member for young people and education, so there will be a vacancy for one of the most important jobs at Endeavour House.
Mrs Evans is a key ally of council leader Matthew Hicks and her departure could be a big loss for him - and could prompt some jockeying for position after the election among senior councillors.
Her opposite number, Labour education spokesman and group whip Jack Abbott, is standing down after just four years as a county councillor. He has been at the heart of many Labour campaigns at the county council.
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Former Labour group leader Sandra Gage is not standing for re-election - her real contribution was always on transport and planning matters, as a former council officer in the highways department.
Labour's transport spokesman, Jack Owen, is also standing down from his Sudbury seat. His election four years ago was a surprise - he had been a councillor during the mid-1990s and Sudbury had not been a fertile political ground for Labour.
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He benefitted from a split within the Conservatives four years ago, after deselected councillor John Sayers stood as an independent and split his former party's vote.
Some at the council are wondering if history could repeat itself in the Thedwastre North division, which covers Woolpit and Elmswell, where former deputy leader Jane Storey is considering standing as an independent after being de-selected by the Conservatives.
She has one of the largest majorities on the council and is very well-known in the division.
However, the Green Party - who came second in the 2017 election - have chosen their Mid Suffolk councillor Andy Mellon, who already represents part of the ward on that authority, to fight the county seat. They fancy their chances in this election.