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Suffolk Coastal's sea of blue

PUBLISHED: 13:19 02 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK Coastal's political map remained a sea of Tory blue today after the ruling Conservative group increased its majority.

It would have been a major surprise had the Conservatives lost control of the district council - it has only ever happened once before - and the result was never in doubt from the start of the count.

SUFFOLK Coastal's political map remained a sea of Tory blue today after the ruling Conservative group increased its majority.

It would have been a major surprise had the Conservatives lost control of the district council – it has only ever happened once before – and the result was never in doubt from the start of the count.

The party increased its majority by adding six seats to give it 43 against the Liberal Democrats' ten. Labour was left with just two seats.

But council leader Ray Herring today revealed the Conservatives had been bracing themselves for losses because of boundary changes.

"We thought we would still win but that we might be down three or four seats to perhaps 34. To gain seats like this was amazing and is a tribute to the hard work which has taken place during a well-organised election campaign," he said.

"The big county council rise in the council tax was the main issue on the doorsteps and I think we got our message across well.

"Suffolk Coastal has showed through its 7.7per cent rise that increases don't have to be so high and councils can deliver value for money."

Labour group leader Mike Deacon, who held on to his seat, was bitterly disappointed.

"We need to sit down and analyse what happened but I think boundary changes played a big part. It gave us some very difficult territory in places. We have lost some excellent councillors who had contributed an awful lot to the district," he said.

Among those to lose their seats were former Felixstowe mayor Dennis Carpenter and respected Woodbridge councillor Roy Burgon.

Edward Wild – tipped by some as a possible future Suffolk Coastal MP – saw his hopes of a political career take a major knock when he failed to win in Saxmundham. The poll was split – voters electing Tory Peter Batho and Lib Dem Marian Andrews.

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