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Shirley's 11th hour Lib Dem boost

PUBLISHED: 12:50 21 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

POLITICAL veteran Baroness (Shirley) Williams was helping to give the Liberal Democrats a last-minute boost in the quest to snatch Ipswich in tomorrow's by-election.

POLITICAL veteran Baroness (Shirley) Williams was helping to give the Liberal Democrats a last-minute boost in the quest to snatch Ipswich in tomorrow's by-election.

The former education secretary and member of the "Gang of Four" who founded the SDP 20 years ago is now leader of the LibDems in the House of Lords.

Back in 1982 she won a stunning victory in the Crosby by-election, and she was today predicting a similar result for Tessa Munt in Ipswich.

"There is a great deal of concern in the town about the state of public services – health, education and social services," she said.

"Our message about proper funding of the public services is going down very well and we are hopeful of a very good result here.

Conservative candidate Paul West was handing Christmas cards to shoppers today as part of his party's campaign to make the town more popular for shoppers.

He urged the council to cut car parking costs to the same as they are in Colchester.

"Over the past three weeks there is one issue which has come up again and again – car parking charges," he said.

"I have already made clear that I will campaign for lower parking charges for the long-term, but I believe we could start by slashing the cost in the run up to Christmas to encourage people to come to Ipswich to spend their money," he said.

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