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Desperate attempt to save councillor

PUBLISHED: 04:00 13 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

FIRST-aiders and paramedics staged a frantic battle in an attempt to save the life of county councillor Ron Sudds, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Mr Sudds collapsed and died at the start of the council's annual carol service at St Mary le Tower church in Ipswich on Tuesday evening.

By PAUL GEATER, political editor

paul.geater@eveningstar.co.uk

FIRST-aiders and paramedics staged a frantic battle in an attempt to save the life of county councillor Ron Sudds, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Mr Sudds collapsed and died at the start of the council's annual carol service at St Mary le Tower church in Ipswich on Tuesday evening.

The service was immediately cancelled and the congregation went to a previously-arranged reception at County Hall where the news about Mr Sudds' death filtered out.

Mr Sudds, 54, who had represented the Gainsborough division had been chairman of the council last year.

On Tuesday evening experts tried in vain to save his life before he was pronounced dead at Ipswich Hospital.

"There were firefighters and social services people with first aid training in the congregation and they immediately went to help him," said one shocked council employee.

"It was obvious he was very seriously ill, and the ambulance was called. It arrived in no time at all."

Paramedics carried on the struggle, but Mr Sudds could not be saved. It is thought he suffered a massive heart attack.

People were still arriving for the service as the tragedy unfolded, but the decision was immediately taken to cancel it and return to County Hall.

"Everyone here is still in a state of complete shock. We all knew Ron very well because he was always around County Hall," said a council spokesman.

Mr Sudds' widow Marion works in Ipswich central library. She and their children Stephen and Hannah are being comforted by friends and other members of their family.

Council leader Jane Hore paid her own tribute to Mr Sudds: "It is hard to put our sense of loss and shock into words.

"Ron's skills and commitment as a councillor and as a friend will remain unsurpassed.

"He represented all the best in local government, and this loss will be shared with so many people in Suffolk. Our thoughts are with Ron's family."

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