Tories increase town council numbers after decisive vote
- Credit: Archant
Voters’ decisions at the ballot box, along with some retirements of long-standing community leaders, have produced a new-look town council for Felixstowe.
The 16-member council now comprises 14 Conservatives and two Labour members – leaving Labour disappointed, having lost three of its councillors with Margaret Morris, Michael Sharman and Martin Walker failing to retain their seats.
Felixstowe Town Council is traditionally Conservative though until this year, opposition parties had been strengthening their numbers over the past two or three elections, providing a more effective opposition.
However, the national swing, a much higher turn-out – the last election saw less than 50% across the district voting, but the clash with the parliamentary election pushed that up to more than 70% in places this time – and changes to ward boundaries had a big impact.
While the extension of the South ward into the town centre area looked as if it might cause problems for the Conservatives but eventually did not, the rearrangement of Walton certainly did for Labour, extending the ward beyond the traditional boundaries of the old village into areas where the party lacked support.
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Meanwhile, the inclusion of the enclave of Allenby, a new one-member ward many found hard to fathom, was also won by the Conservatives in a much closer fight than many might have expected.
While the new council will be a mix of returning councillors and new ones, the authority has said goodbye to several long-serving members.
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Former mayor Cyril Webb, a member of the council since 1979, has stepped down after nearly 36 years’ unbroken service, while Chris Slemmings, elected in the 1980s and chairman of the finance and general purposes committee for many years, also retires.
Mike Stokell, also elected in the 1980s and who held senior office in committee, and former mayor Joan Sennington have said their farewells after many years of hard work.
All had given long and distinguished service for their town both on the council and also as town representatives to many different local organ
Allenby: Jan Garfield (C) 460, Seamus Bennett (LD) 391, Carol Florey (L) 268.
East (four seats): Nick Barber (C) 1,981, Doreen Savage (C) 1,907, Steve Gallant (C) 1,866, Stephen Wiles (C) 1,717, Hattie Bennett (L) 993, Richard Burrow (L) 777, Richard Reaville (L) 760, Victor Brazkiewicz (L) 709.
South (four seats): Peter Coleman (C) 1,625, Jon Garfield (C) 1,368, Andy Smith (C) 1,317, Joshua Vartan (C) 1,292, Corrine Franklin (L) 850, David Rowe (L) 742, Anna Tink (L) 713, Andrew Tink (L) 678, Cherrie MacGregor (Gn) 653, Gez Hughes (LD) 517.
Walton (three seats): Mike Deacon (L) 1,110, Steve Bloomfield (C) 924, Kimberley Williams (L) 818, Martin Walker (L) 709, Michael Titchener (C) 549, Wayne Dye (C) 499, Michael Ninnmey (LD) 311.
West (four seats): Stuart Bird (C) 1,199, Christina Barham (C) 1,126, Tracey Green (C) 1,030, Graham Newman (C) 1,017, Michael Sharman (L) 973, Margaret Morris (L) 931, David Hawley (L) 831, Brenda Shelley (L) 816, Harry Dangerfield (LD) 522, Jon Woods (LD) 464.