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Worlingham: Tories win crucial by-election

PUBLISHED: 10:21 20 December 2011

A TORY candidate last night emerged victorious after a crucial by-election in north Suffolk.

Five people yesterday contested the vacant Worlingham seat on Waveney District Council.

The election followed the resignation of controversial councillor Andrew Draper, a former Conservative who later sat as an independent, after he was convicted of drink-driving and assaulting a police officer. At a separate hearing the 37-year-old, of Martin Close, Carlton Colville, was also ordered to pay £500 after sending an offensive e-mail to a police officer.

Norman Brooks, of Darby Road, Beccles was announced the by-election winner shortly before midnight, having polled 706 votes.

Votes were cast throughout the day, with booths closing at 10pm. Counters set to work at 11pm and the result was announced shortly before midnight. The Conservative Party candidate beat Sylvia Robbins, who stood for Labour and gained 586, and Sue Bergin of the Green Party, who polled 137 votes.

Standing for the UK Independence Party, Stuart Foulger won 64 votes and Liberal Democrat Doug Farmer polled 46 votes.

The result means the Conservative Party now, once again, have 23 seats on Waveney District Council. The Labour Party also have 23 with one Green and one Independent member.

The Conservatives have controlled the district council with the support of an independent chairman but there was a danger power could have shifted to the left if Labour had won the seat and tipped the scales.

Polling stations were at Worlingham Primary School and Fortrey Heap Village Hall, North Cove.

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