The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has strenghtened its grip on Haverhill with victory in both of yesterday’s (Thursday, January 9) by election.
Seats at both St Edmundsbury Council and Haverhill Town Council had been vacated after Les Ager passed away, and UKIP made it four wins from the last five available seats by taking both.
On borough level Tony Brown, who along with Julian Flood won UKIP’s first Suffolk County Council Haverhill seats by taking two of the three up for grabs in May, won the Haverhill East seat.
He got 54 per cent of the vote, more than double his nearest challenger, Labour’s former Haverhill mayor Pat Hanlon with 24.5 per cent (down 12.6 per cent from last year).
Town Councillor David Roach had 16 per cent of the vote (down 31.9 per cent) for the Tories and the Liberal Democrats’ Ken Rolph achieved just 5.5 per cent (down 9.4 per cent).
Cllr Brown becomes UKIP’s second borough councillor, joining fellow Haverhill man Gordon Cox who was elected as a Tory before defecting.
UKIP also won the Haverhill East seat on the town council, with fruit and veg seller Paul Firman increasing the opposition in the Labour dominated council.
He won 64 per cent of the vote, triple that of Labour candidate Liz Smith.
Also standing was Mr Rolph for the Lib Dems, who have no representation on either the town or borough council.
Cllr Firman joins UKIP colleague Barry Robbins, who was elected following the resignation of Bryan Hawes, who had switched to UKIP from the Tories.
For a full report and all the latest news see Thursday’s (January 16) Echo.