Tories snatch control of key authorities

ST Edmundsbury and Mid Suffolk councils fell to the Conservatives early today as voters took their revenge for the massive rises in this year's council tax bills.

By Graham Dines

ST Edmundsbury and Mid Suffolk councils fell to the Conservatives early today as voters took their revenge for the massive rises in this year's council tax bills.

Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors on Suffolk's district authorities paid the price, even though Suffolk County imposed the bulk of the tax rise

Council.


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Two of the best-known Labour councillors in Bury St Edmunds were defeated by the Tories. Council leader Ray Nowak and former parliamentary candidate Mark Ereira-Guyer fell to the blue onslaught.

The victory was particularly sweet for the Tories in St Edmundsbury, who had won control in the 1999 elections but were replaced by a Labour-led rainbow alliance following the defection of a number of councillors,

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Penny Otton, the outgoing Leader of Mid Suffolk council, said the council tax rise had played “a significant part” in the Tory success. Ironically, the Mid Suffolk portion of the increase was one of the lowest in the East of England.

In Ipswich, the Conservatives won three seats from Labour while the Liberal Democrats added to their number by taking previously rock-solid Whitehouse from Labour.

The Tories' night of joy was marred, however, in Babergh, when their leader Richard Cave lost his Nayland seat to the Liberal Democrats.

The Green Party was also jubilant when it gained its first ever elected district councillor in Suffolk. Andrew Stringer won Mendlesham from the Tories by a majority of 60.

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