Election knock for Labour in Ipswich
LABOUR failed to win half the seats on offer in Ipswich for the first time in a generation as Liberal Democrats in the town continued their advance.But the real winners in the town were the Conservatives who picked up seats in wards they had last won 30 years ago.
LABOUR failed to win half the seats on offer in Ipswich for the first time in a generation as Liberal Democrats in the town continued their advance.
But the real winners in the town were the Conservatives who picked up seats in wards they had last won 30 years ago.
Tory Sandra Doyle won Whitton while Labour executive committee member Keith Rawlingson – who is also on the county council – lost his Stoke Park seat to former Conservative councillor Stephen Cook.
But the biggest surprise of the night came in the Whitehouse ward where former Labour councillor George King staged at remarkable political comeback to win the seat for the Liberal Democrats.
The Lib Dems now have five seats at Civic Centre in three separate wards after Jane Chambers comfortably held on to the Alexandra Ward she won last May.
Labour officials and activists were quick to blame their county council colleagues.
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"I'm glad Rawlingson's lost," said one Labour activist. "Now he can crawl back to County Hall and tell his mates how they've stuffed us!"
Liberal Democrat leader Inga Lockington was ecstatic about her party's success.
"We've been making progress in wards across the town, if you look our vote is up substantially," she said. "It was very good to make a breakthrough in a third ward."
Conservative leader Stephen Barker was understandably delighted by his party's performance.
"It was a very good night for us and gives us something to build on in the future – there are other wards too where we performed strongly and just missed out," he said.
Labour deputy council leader David Ellesmere said the council tax increases had been the dominant issue on the doorsteps. "You can't deny that caused us big problems," he added.