The UK Independence Party had a good day at the ballot box, winning seats at Suffolk County, Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough Councils in yesterday’s by-elections.
UKIP Councillor John Burns was elected to represent Haverhill Cangle Division at Suffolk County Council, winning the seat by 1,273 votes over Margaret Marks.
Margaret was running in memory of her late husband, Conservative Cllr Tim Marks, who died on Monday January 4.
UKIP’s Anthony Williams won the St Edmundsbury Borough Council Haverhill North seat by 563 votes with a 27.7 percent turnout.
Speaking soon after his election triumph, Cllr Burns said the win hadn’t quite sunk in yet.
“I am looking forward to getting on with the job,” he said, “It is a new challenge and I’m looking forward to working with our existing two councillors for the benefit of the town and learning all there is to know about what the job entails. We won Haverhill North for the Borough Council as well so I’m looking forward to Anthony joining us there.
“I think he will be a really good asset, he is young, enthusiastic and has already done a lot for the area.
“Further north in South Ward for Forest Heath Roger Dicker won which was really good.
“We are probably going to carry on the way we have in many ways.
“For us it has been Haverhill first, Suffolk second.
“All of us regardless of political party have worked well together in Haverhill and have tried to make sure the town has its fair share of acknowledgment from the county council.
“I was a little bit surprised when my name was announced, I though Margaret was going to win.
“She did a good campaign, I have a lot of respect for her.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be honest.”
John said the voter turnout was something to build on.
“The turnout really was much better than I thought it would be,” he said, “around 26 percent for Cangle and Haverhill North.
“We expected a low turnout so were pleased people came out and voted on the day.
“However, 70 percent didn’t bother but it is something to build on.
“It was a good campaign with no animosity. We all respect each other and work well with each other.”