People cast their votes on polling day for Suffolk County Council elections

Voter placing a ballot paper in the ballot box at a polling station. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Nominations are now open for vacancies on Lowestoft Town and Oulton Broad Parish Councils. - Credit: PA

Voters in Waveney have gone to the polls to vote in the local elections today.

With the snap General Election a month away, the local elections have been overshadowed by the national campaign and turnout was expected to be low.

However a spokesman for Waveney District Council said all polling stations opened up on time and there has been a steady stream of voters so far today.

Candidates from the Conservatives, Labour, UKIP, Liberal Democrats and Green parties are standing in every ward across Waveney.

Across the eight divisions, two councillors will be elected in Beccles, Gunton, Lowestoft South, Oulton and Pakefield, with just one councillor in Bungay, Halesworth and Kessingland and Southwold.

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Counting will take place tomorrow.

The Conservatives won 39 of the 75 seats available on the authority in 2013 and are hoping to increase their majority after falling into a minority administration after two by-election losses recently.

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The current make up of Suffolk County Council is 37 Conservative, 15 Labour, nine UKIP, eight Liberal Democrat, three independent and two Green.

Meanwhile residents are also going out to vote for three of the seven wards for the new Lowestoft Town Council.

Four wards for the Lowestoft election are uncontested - Normanston, Gunton, Pakefield and St Margaret's - meaning many have automatically secured a seat. However residents will still vote for the Elmtree, Harbour and Kirkley wards.

The vote for the new Oulton Broad Parish Council was also due to be held today, however all the seats were uncontested.

The new councils will represent local people on local issues and will be responsible for some services and assets in the area like play areas, parks and gardens. Some of the larger assets due to be transferred include Lowestoft Town Hall, the Marina Theatre and Nicholas Everitt Park.

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