Where in Suffolk will council elections take place in May 2021
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A by-election in Lakenheath is the latest in a string of planned polls set to take place in May 2021.
West Suffolk councillor David Gathercole died on August 22 at the age of 73 following a long battle with illness.
The authority has confirmed that a by-election to fill his seat will take place in May 2021, as councils are currently unable to hold elections because of Covid-19 restrictions.
MORE: Tributes paid to Lakenheath councillor David GathercoleSuffolk County Council will also hold its elections in May as originally planned, while the police and crime commissioner polls and a third of Ipswich Borough Council – both due to take place in May 2020 but delayed by the pandemic – have been rescheduled for May 2021.
It is not yet clear whether those two elections will be for terms of only three years instead of four, in order for the polls to resume their regular four-year cycle in time for 2024.
West Suffolk already has a by-election lined up for the Moreton Hall seat following the resignation of Frank Warby in June.
Elsewhere, a by-election will be held in the Castle Hill ward in Ipswich in addition to the seats already up for election in the delayed 2020 polls as a result of Robin Vickery resigning his role in June.
Mr Vickery had also held a Suffolk County Council seat in the Carlford division, but that seat is up for election as part of the whole county council election next year anyway.
East Suffolk also has one by-election lined up for May 2021 in the Framlingham seat, following William Taylor’s decision to stand down from that seat earlier this year for personal reasons.
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Lakenheath is a two-seat ward at West Suffolk Council, meaning that the other Lakenheath councillor Stephen Frost will represent residents there until Mr Gathercole’s seat can be filled next year.
Paying tribute to Mr Gathercole, West Suffolk Council leader John Griffiths said: “I was very sorry to learn the sad news of the death of Councillor David Gathercole.
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“Although we worked together for a comparatively short time since his election to West Suffolk Council in 2019, he was a hard working and very visible ward councillor, serving his communities with a strong sense of duty.
MORE: Coronavirus forces PCC and Ipswich elections to be delayed“He used his understanding of West Suffolk to good effect as part of the former Forest Heath development control committee and chair of the Forest Heath local plan working group. I send my, and everyone at West Suffolk Council’s, sincere condolences and best wishes to his family, and to the people of Lakenheath, Eriswell and Sedge Fen whom he represented.”
The full list of elections in Suffolk planned for May 2021 is as follows:
• Suffolk County Council, all councillors (as originally scheduled for May 2021)
• Ipswich Borough Council, one third (delayed from May 2020)
• Suffolk police and crime commissioner (delayed from May 2020)
• Ipswich Borough Council by-election, Castle Hill ward (one seat in addition to that already up for election as part of the May 2020 cycle)
• West Suffolk Council by-elections, Moreton Hall and Lakenheath wards (one seat each)
• East Suffolk Council by-election, Framlingham ward (one seat)