Ipswich councillors to step down early - sparking by-election on same day as local and general elections
Two Labour members of Ipswich Council are stepping down early – creating a couple of by-elections to be held on the same day as the General Election.
A third of Ipswich Council – 16 of the 48 seats – was due to be up for election on May 7. All other district and borough councils in Suffolk are facing all-out elections on that day.
However, the resignations of Ipswich Labour councillors Richard Kirby and Jen Stimson mean there will be 18 vacancies to fill at the authority.
Mr Kirby has represented Sprites Ward on the council since 2004 and was previously a member of the authority in the 1970s and 1980s. He has resigned for family reasons.
Ms Stimson has represented St Johns Ward since 2012 and has worked on the council’s scrutiny committee but is standing down because of family and work commitments.
People in those seats will have to place two crosses on the local election ballot paper.
Nominations close for all the council seats on April 9 – after which the names of all the candidates will be published. Councils are counting the votes for the local elections during the day of Friday, May 8.
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Before the two resignations, Labour had a majority of 22 over the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Labour is defending 14 of the 18 seats up for election on May 7 – which makes it almost impossible for the party to lose power at Grafton House.
Council leader David Ellesmere said: “Richard, in particular, has given a great deal of service to the council in a number of roles and will be missed. Jen’s work on scrutiny was very valuable and we are also sorry to lose her.”