Former Conservative council leader Liz Harsant was the big casualty in this year's Ipswich Council local elections.

She lost her ward on the council as Labour consolidated its grip on the authority where a third of the 48 seats were up for election.

Mrs Harsant was beaten by Labour's Cathy Frost - a well-known shop owner who has championed the town's small retailers for many years.

After her defeat Mrs Harsant said: "I think it was the national thing. I know Cathy well and I've wished her luck. I hope she enjoys being a councillor as much as I have.

"But I'm still on the county council and I've got a lot of other things so I'll still be around."

Mrs Frost said she already knew many of the people at the borough and was looking forward to getting down to work as a councillor.

Labour didn't have everything go its way on the night. Although it won Holywells, it missed out on winning a second seat in Stoke Park after its shock victory there last year.

And despite suggesting that Castle Hill might be a tight contest, the Conservatives comfortably retained what is normally a safe seat for them.

But outgoing Labour leader David Ellesmere was bouyant about the election results: "We've won another seat and we're now in a very strong position."

Mr Ellesmere announced last year that he would step down as leader after these elections: "I'm handing over a group that is in a very strong position to run the council - the Labour Party has been backed by the voters of Ipswich."

After gaining the Holywells seat from the Conservatives, Labour now holds 33 of the 48 seats at the borough. The Conservatives have 10, the Liberal Democrats 3 and there are two independents.

There was also a county council by-election in the Priory Heath division which was won by Labour's Lucy Smith.



Borough council election results:

Alexandra Ward: Jane Riley*(L) 1,049, Sachin Karale (C) 768, Sophie Williams (LD) 111, Tom Wilmot(G)610

Bixley Ward: Richard Pope*(C) 1,205, Paul Anderson (L) 795, Lisa Weichert(LD) 164, Stephanie Cullen(G) 239

Bridge Ward: Phil Smart*(L) 813, John Downie(C) 505, Kelly Turner(LD) 93, Adria Pittock (G) 232.

Castle Hill Ward: Erion Xhareraj*(C) 772, Barry Studd (L) 628, Martin Pakes (LD) 443, Sarah Welbourne (G) 166.

Gainsborough: Martin Cook*(L) 974, Albert Demaj (C) 602, Conrad Packwood (LD) 71, Robert Young (G) 180.

Gipping: Peter Gardiner*(L) 869, Sian Gubb (C)438, Henry Williams (LD) 83, Lee Morris (G) 193.

Holywells: Cathy Frost* (L) 1,037, Liz Harsant*(C) 909,Robert Chambers (LD) 120, Rory Richardson-Todd (G) 171.

Priory Heath: Ruman Muhith*(L)915, Gregor McNie(C) 601, Trevor Powell (LD) 155, Andy Patmore (G)188.

Rushmere: Kelvin Cracknell*(L) 1,113, Stephen Ion (C) 794, Lucy Drake (LD) 200, Rachel Morris (G) 234.

Sprites: Jenny Smith* (L) 769, Mike Scanes (C) 618, Robin Whitmore (LD) 38, Martin Hynes (G)97, Stuart Allen (RUK) 703, Terry Charles (HP) 45.

St John's: Elango Elavalakan* (L) 1,064, Tim Buttle (C) 736, Giles Turner (LD) 301, Jude Rook (G) 220.

St Margaret's: Tim Lockington*(LD) 1,559, Laura Allenby (C) 625, Sheila Handley (L) 486, Kirsty Wilmot (G) 257.

Stoke Park: Nathan Wilson* (C) 814, Chu Man (L) 711, Gerald Pryke (LD) 74, Barry Broom (G) 128, Sandra Sparrow (ADF) 35.

Westgate: Julian Gibbs* (L) 872, Debbie Richards (C) 394, Martin Hore (LD) 140, John Mann (G) 222.

Whitehouse: Lucy Trenchard*(L) 765, Stephen Lark (C) 439, Immo Weichert (LD)78, Ned Harrison (G) 182.

Whitton: Gary Forster* (L) 850, James Harding (C) 710, Nicholas Jacob (LD) 112, Jason Williams (G) 116.

Key: L - Labour

C - Conservative

LD - Liberal Democrat

G - Green

RUK - Reform UK

HP - Heritage Party