Lib Dems and Labour defeat Tories in two east Suffolk by-elections
- Credit: Archant
Two new councillors have been appointed to east Suffolk councils following by-elections which both saw the incumbent Conservative party unseated.
Liberal Democrat David Beavan won a convincing majority to be elected to the Waveney District Council’s Southwold and Reydon ward, while at Woodbridge Town Council, Labour’s Sue Bale took the Kyson seat by just four votes.
The by-elections both took place on Thursday, with the results posted on the councils’ websites yesterday.
Speaking of his victory, Mr Beavan said: “I am really humbled by the vote.
“The people of Southwold and Reydon have spoken, and politicians need to listen.
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“I feel a great responsibility now to help reverse rising tide of second homes, to secure our community from greedy developers and arrogant councils.”
Mr Beavan, together with colleagues in the Southwold branch of the Liberal Democrats, has been campaigning to close a loophole, which allows second home owners to avoid paying tax.
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According to current regulations, second home owners are able register the properties as holiday-lets, claim small business rate relief and pay no tax on the property. The campaign has led to discussions in the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Mr Beavan took 1,005 votes beating the Conservative candidate David Burrows, who received 307 votes.
John Cracknell of Labour received 78 votes and UKIP’s Michael Shaw had 18 votes. Turnout was 49.2%.
In Woodbridge, the by-election was called following the disqualification of Conservative councillor Stella Percival.
Ms Bale received 190 votes, which narrowly defeated Conservative candidate Chris Mapey, who received 186.
MS Bale said: “ I’m delighted to have been elected as councillor to Woodbridge Town Council. It was a very close contest which underlines the importance of local democracy and the fact that every vote counts. I’d like to thank all the residents of Kyson who voted for me and all of my friends and colleagues who campaigned for me. I look forward to working with all the other town councillors to serve Woodbridge’s best interests and especially those of Kyson ward.”
Turnout was 24.5%.