Ipswich voters head to polls

VOTERS will go to the polls tomorrow to decide who takes up the vacant seat in the Castle Hill area of Ipswich.

VOTERS will go to the polls tomorrow to decide who takes up the vacant seat in the Castle Hill area of Ipswich.

The seat on Ipswich Borough Council was previously held by former council leader Dale Jackson who was booted out in May after failing to attend a meeting for more than six months.

The election is being contested by three candidates, Nigel Cheeseman representing the Liberal Democrats, John Harris of the Labour Party and Robin Vickery for the Conservatives.

Castle Hill's two current councillors, Henry Davies and David Goldsmith, are both Conservative.

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The outcome of the ballot will not affect overall control of the council which is run by a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition.

Former councillor for Castle Hill, Dale Jackson - who was also with the Conservative party -was leader of the Tory group on the borough council for just over a year.

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It was during this time the council took over the reigns of power in the town for the first time in more than a quarter of a century.

He became group leader in February 2004 and in September that year negotiated a coalition with the liberal Democrats to take over the administration.

However, in March 2005 he was forced to stand down as leader when the government's standards board started an investigation into his conduct following a complaint from councillor Stephen Barker about a letter sent to his daughter.

After he was cleared, Mr Jackson tried to regain his position as leader but his bid was rejected by Liz Harsant who took control of the administration earlier that year.

He resigned the Tory whip in December 2005 and later formed an independent Conservative group with Mr Barker.

However he did not attend any meetings since November 2006 and under council rules was forced to surrender his seat following a six-month period of no-shows.

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