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Ipswich: Councillor quits after just four months

PUBLISHED: 16:48 06 September 2011 | UPDATED: 17:51 06 September 2011

Conservative councillor Sarah Stokes

Conservative councillor Sarah Stokes

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IPSWICH: A by-election is looming in one of the borough’s most marginal wards - after the shortest term as councillor most people can remember.

Conservative Sarah Stokes won the St Margaret’s Ward by 60 votes over the Liberal Democrats in May this year.

However she has now resigned from the authority for personal reasons and the Lib Dems will be aiming to win back a seat they had held at every election since 1999.

Mrs Stokes’s four months as a councillor is the shortest period most people can remember – there have been candidates who have won seats they had not expected in the past but none has stood down in less than a year.

And St Margaret’s was always near the top of the Tories’ targets as the Lib Dems faced a crumbling vote in this year’s elections.

Conservative group leader John Carnall said: “We understand this is a personal decision by Sarah and we are sorry she has not been able to remain as a councillor.”

Mrs Stokes was not able to comment on the reasons behind her resignation.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats, who hold the other two St Margaret’s seats, are already preparing for the by-election.

The party’s Inga Lockington, who also represents the ward, said: “I am sorry to hear she has had to resign, I only met her a couple of times but she seems very nice.

“However we have to look ahead now and I’m sure my party will be preparing for the by-election and we will be very hopeful of winning it back straight away.”

- How well are you served by your councillor? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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