Ipswich politicians consider next moves

POLITICIANS from the three main parties in Ipswich have been using the long bank holiday weekend to ponder their next moves after Thursday's election in the town.

POLITICIANS from the three main parties in Ipswich have been using the long bank holiday weekend to ponder their next moves after Thursday's election in the town.

Labour were the big winners in Ipswich, winning two seats off the Tories and one off the LibDems in a series of results which bucked the national trend.

All three parties said the “Andrea Factor” had a big effect on voting - by the end of a long night Labour were the largest single party in Ipswich with 21 councillors, the Conservatives have 19 and the LibDems are still holding the balance of power with eight.

Liberal Democrat group chairman John Cooper has invited the other two groups to establish what the groundwork would be for working together in an administration which could last two years.


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There are no borough elections scheduled for next year - it is due to be county council elections - but the whole electoral picture could change if the government goes ahead with restructuring local government in Suffolk.

Labour leader David Ellesmere said he was not expecting anything to become clear until later this week: “We will have to see who is at the head of the other two groups before we can get into any negotiations, Labour was the clear winner on the night.”

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A total of 18 seats were contested on the day - 16 wards and two by-elections. Labour won 10 of these seats, the Tories six and the Liberal Democrats two.

However in the popular vote, the Conservatives just edged out Labour across the town.

Conservative leader Liz Harsant remained hopeful that an alliance with the Liberal Democrats could be resurrected.

She said: “I have spoken to (LibDem group leader) Andrew Cann today and I'm hopeful something can be arranged, but he needs to meet with his group over the next few days.

“I hope something can be sorted out soon because time is moving on and we need to get things settled. Apart from anything else we need to get a new mayor chosen.”

Mr Cann said his group were expecting to have informal chats over the weekend but were not expecting to make any formal decisions until after the weekend.

“I've already heard from David (Ellesmere) and I've spoken to Liz and they should be coming up with proposals for us to consider. But we should know exactly what is happening by the middle of the week.”

What do you think of the new council? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

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