Election battle begins as names revealed

TWO former Labour mayors of Ipswich are hoping to regain seats on the borough in next month's elections.But both Roger Fern and Albert Grant face uphill battles - they are fighting seats that were won by opposition parties in last year's poll.

TWO former Labour mayors of Ipswich are hoping to regain seats on the borough in next month's elections.

But both Roger Fern and Albert Grant face uphill battles - they are fighting seats that were won by opposition parties in last year's poll.

Also standing for election to Ipswich council are three county councillors, Liberal Democrat Andrew Cann in Westgate Ward and Labour's Tony Lewis in Whitehouse and Keith Rawlingson in Stoke Park.

Former council leader Bill Knowles, who was top councillor in the early 1970s, is seeking to make a political comeback in Priory Heath ward - and another former member hoping to make a comeback is Chris Newbury.


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But he has switched parties since losing his seat as a Labour councillor four years ago. He is now standing for the Liberal Democrats in Bridge Ward but would appear to have an uphill task in a ward which has both Labour and Conservative councillors.

One person who is not seeking re-election is former Conservative group leader Stephen Barker who has sat as an independent for the last 15 months and will not be contesting Bixley again. The Tory candidate in that seat is association chairman Gavin McLure.

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There are two very youthful candidates following the reduction of the minimum age for councillors from 21 to 18. Labour's 18-year-old Jamie McMahon is standing against council leader Liz Harsant in Holywells ward while Ben Matthews, 19, is hoping to come between Labour and Liberal candidates to snatch victory in Whitehouse ward.

In Mid Suffolk, the row over the proposed abolition of middle schools by Suffolk county council has surfaced in Bacton & Old Newton where Sarah Stringer, who chaired the pressure group Parents Action for Children's Education, is standing as an Independent.

Four candidates from a new group Suffolk Together are standing, in the Claydon & Barham, Needham Market, Bramford, and Barking & Somersham wards.

The alliance is born out of the opposition to the multi-million pound SnOasis development proposed for Great Blakenham, but their platform in Mid Suffolk is to improve the council's performance and to raise awareness of the problems of town and parish councils in the district.

In Ipswich, two wards have five candidates - St Margaret's were the sitting Liberal Democrat John Cooper faces opposition from Tory, Labour, Green and an Independent, and in Westgate, where Labour's John Cook is hoping to see off candidates from the Tories, Lib Dems, Greens, and UKIP.

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