Labour holds Kirkley ward while Conservatives gain a seat in Waveney by-elections

Waveney District Council's Riverside building in Lowestoft. Picture: Archant.

Waveney District Council's Riverside building in Lowestoft. Picture: Archant. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The Labour party has lost a seat on Waveney District Council following by-elections for two Lowestoft wards.

Ten candidates contested the Kirkley and St Margarets wards, with voters going to the polls yesterday.

The by-elections were held following the resignations of Labour councillors Steve Logan and Louise Harris last month, with both citing work reasons for their decisions.

The new district councillor elected for the Kirkley ward is Peter Byatt with 374 votes, holding the seat for Labour. Conservative candidate Gilly Gunner received 217 votes, with 84 votes for Dominic Leslie for the Liberal Democrats, 78 votes for UKIP's Phillip Trindall and 30 votes for the Green Party's Ben Quail.

The turnout was 14.4pc.

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And elected for the St Margarets ward was Linda Coulam with 487, gaining a seat for the Conservatives. Labour's Nasima Begum received 410 votes, with 119 for UKIP's Bernie Guymer, 88 votes for Shaun Waters standing for the Liberal Democrats and 65 votes for the Green Party's Baz Bemment.

The turnout was 18.4pc.

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A statement from the Waveney Labour Group said: 'An excellent result in Kirkley by getting nearly 50pc of the vote is the new Waveney Labour councillor Peter Byatt. A big thank you too for the Waveney Labour Party team for their dedicated and effective work in getting Peter elected. Thanks is also due to the people of Kirkley who have elected a Waveney district councillor who will work very hard for them and for the good of Kirkley.

'It was a disappointing narrow loss for Labour Party candidate Nasima Begum in her first Waveney District Council election. The Conservatives were assisted in their narrow 77 vote majority by the split vote. Thanks are due to Nasima and the Waveney Labour Party Team for all their efforts.'

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