max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C


Election 2017: Campaign near Ravenswood primary in Ipswich leads to complaint from parent

PUBLISHED: 16:55 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:58 19 May 2017

Bill Knowles with Ipswich Labour candidate Sandy Martin. Picture: Paul Geater.

Bill Knowles with Ipswich Labour candidate Sandy Martin. Picture: Paul Geater.


A veteran Labour councillor who upset a parent by handing out leaflets near the entrance to an Ipswich school has defended his party’s campaign.

The General Election will take place on June 8 The General Election will take place on June 8

Bill Knowles – who led the borough council back in the early 1970s – was joined by other party volunteers handing out leaflets to parents outside the gates at Ravenswood Primary School.

He said it was something his party has been doing across the town – and campaigners for other parties also visit school gates to speak to parents and carers taking children to school.

However local parent Stuart Reeder felt they were obstructing the entrance to the school and lodged a complaint with Ipswich Council chief executive Russell Williams who is acting returning officer for the election.

Mr Reeder said he felt it was wrong to lobby parents within 100 metres of a school entrance and it was not clear from those handing out leaflets that they were from the Labour Party.

He said: “People had to walk around them to get into the school gate, and people thought they were something to do with the school. When I contacted the headteacher she said they were not. I don’t think this is right.”

He was still awaiting a response from Mr Williams.

Mr Knowles, who is 74 years old, said: “We weren’t causing a problem to anyone. It is something all parties tend to do at election time. None of us were causing any problems.”

They were on public land – no one had gone on to school property and it was normal practice for political parties to highlight their policies, especially education policies, near schools.

A film crew from a regional television programme was also in the area doing a report on the campaign in Ipswich and were showing a typical canvassing session.

A spokesman for Ipswich Council said Mr Williams was not available but officials were aware of the e-mail from Mr Reeder. On the face of it there did not appear to be any breach of political law.

Schools often feature in election campaigns – but are always careful to be seen as not favouring one party.

Sometimes they will host visits by politicians – but almost always try to balance visits to avoid being seen as giving support to one political party.

Activists too are keen to avoid the appearance of lobbying children during campaigns.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

A woman, believed to be in her 50s was hit by a car earlier this afternoon.

Paramedics Sarah Ford and Emma-Louise Bowen Hillson were behind the ambulance launch and hope it will inspire other women.

I ventured just a few miles down the road from my Ipswich home for a luxury overnight stay, as too often we forget that sometimes the best places to visit are right on our doorstep.

An Ipswich family says a school acted with a ‘lack of compassion’ when it split up two sisters minutes after learning their mother had suffered a miscarriage.

Just weeks from their wedding, a Suffolk couple have told of the stress and anxiety of discovering their chosen venue has shut up shop without warning.

A new housing development led to huge expansion of north Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

West Suffolk College has linked up with the EADT and Ipswich Star to release for sale 10 ‘golden tickets’ to a dinner cooked by students and Albert Roux.

The hoardings around a new Joules store under construction in Ipswich have come away, revealing the brand’s trademark yellow facade.

Train operator Greater Anglia is warning people to stay safe following an increase in trespassing on train tracks

The bank holiday weekend is here and it’s set to be a warm one, but there’s still a chance you might have to swap your bikini or Bermudas for a brollie.

Most read

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24