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Tories maintain grip on Waveney council

PUBLISHED: 14:21 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:17 05 July 2010

THE Conservatives maintained their grip on Waveney District Council following yesterday's local elections.

The Tories lost two seats to Labour but also gained two seats so the balance of power remained very much in their favour.

THE Conservatives maintained their grip on Waveney District Council following yesterday's local elections.

The Tories lost two seats to Labour but also gained two seats so the balance of power remained very much in their favour.

The new make-up of the 48-seat council is Conservatives 30, Labour 12, Liberal Democrats three, Independents two, and Green Party one.

The biggest shock saw former Beccles mayor Jack Walmsley lose his seat at Beccles South where Conservative Gary Ruickbie was victorious.

In a closely contested battle Mr Ruickbie polled 397 votes, Mr Walmsely 354 and Green Party candidate Nicky Elliott 334.

The Conservatives also captured Whitton with Trish Mortimer defeating Labour's Tod Sullivan in what was the seat of former Labour leader and Lowestoft mayor Sally Spore.

The Liberal Democrats were celebrating after Rose Hudson won at Kirkley keeping the party's stranglehold on the ward.

Mark Bee, Conservative leader of the council, said he was delighted with the results.

“This is a vindication of the Conservative policies on the council and we are very pleased with our share of the vote.

“I am also pleased with the turnout of voters at 34pc which matches the national average,” he said.

Mr Bee was particularly delighted with the party's success at Beccles where they had faced strong competition from Labour and Green Party candidates.

Sally Spore, Labour's campaign co-ordinator, said the party had done well to maintain its number of seats on the council.

“We have to be pleased to keep the same number of seats here in Waveney when compared with the national situation,” she said.

Andrew Shepherd, of the Liberal Democrats, praised Kirkley candidate Rose Hudson for making such an impact on the ward.

“We had a very good candidate at Kirkley and it is very pleasing that Rose's victory means the ward has been a Liberal Democrat stronghold for the past ten years.

“We have also had some good showing in other wards across the district,” he said.

The Green Party which had fielded candidates in all wards being contested polled high number of votes but failed to win any councillors to join existing member Graham Elliott.

The UKIP candidates also fared well in a number of wards but were unable to get the party's first councillor elected on to Waveney District Council.

The winning candidates were:

Beccles North - Chris Punt (Conservative)

Beccles South - Gary Ruickbie (Conservative)

Bungay - Simon Woods (Conservative)

Carlton - Steve Ardley (Conservative)

Carlton Colville - Pat Hawes (Conservative) and Paul Light (Conservative)

Gunton and Corton - Mary Rudd (Conservative)

Halesworth - Paddy Flegg (Conservative)

Harbour - Nigel Dack (Labour)

Kessingland - Bruce Provan (Conservative)

Kirkley - Rose Hudson (Liberal Democrat)

Normanston - Keith Patience (Labour)

Oulton Broad - Sandy Keller (Conservative)

Pakefield - Malcolm Pitchers (Labour)

Southwold and Reydon - Sue Allen (Conservative)

St Margarets - Paul Widdowson (Labour)

Whitton - Trish Mortimer (Conservative)

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