The Conservatives have maintained a strong hold on St Edmundsbury Borough Council in the local elections.
The council now consists of 36 Conservative, four UKIP, two Independent and two Labour councillors, with Cllr Julia Wakelam holding the Green Party’s only seat.
The Conservatives gained one seat and UKIP picked up three, all in Haverhill wards. Two Independent councillors, Trevor Beckwith and Derek Redhead, were not re-elected.
John Griffiths, Conservative council leader, whose Ixworth seat was uncontested, said: “I think it is encouraging that people have turned out in such numbers.
“It is important that we get the best candidates to serve all the people of the constituency, regardless of their political parties, and to ensure we have candidates who can do their best for St Edmundsbury.
“I know everyone has worked hard and now the real hard work begins, to help the people of the borough and of Bury St Edmunds in particular.”
Rural declarations have been coming thick and fast, with results from many of Bury’s wards also starting to pour in.
Green Party candidate Julia Wakelam just managed to keep her seat in Risbygate out of Conservative hands, securing just two votes more than the Conservatives’ Rod Barrett after a recount.
Her Independent fellow ward councillor, David Nettleton, also retained his seat.
While relieved, Cllr Wakelam said the count had been very stressful.
“I am so pleased that my residents have kept me in, they have done well when people were clearly just voting for the party, not the person,” she said.
“For both David and me our residents were good. It is because we work hard for them and they show us their thanks.”.
There was a close call in Northgate ward for Diane Hind, Labour councillor, who scraped back into her seat with only 19 votes separating her from Conservative rival, Carl Poole.
Cllr Hind said: “It was close, but not as close as it could have been.
“I am highly delighted, it has been a pleasure to serve the Northgate as their borough councillor and I look forward to continuing.
“I have some ideas for improvevments and I want to be able to put them into practise.”
Another tight ballot in Haverhill South saw Labour’s Maureen Byrne lose out to UKIP candidate Jason Crooks, who was elected alongside the Conservatives’ Paula Fox.
Changes were also afoot in Westgate, where new arrival Wayne Hailstone and returning councillor Richard Rout scored seats for the Conservatives, replacing fellow Tory Paul Simner and the now-Independent Stefan Oliver.
Meanwhile in Moreton Hall ward, long-standing Independent councillor Trevor Beckwith, who has served on the borough council for 20 years, lost his seat to new Conservative candidate Peter Thompson by 123 votes.
He said: “It’s disappointing after 20 years. It isn’t for me to tell the electorate how to vote. I honestly don’t think I’m leaving because of any failure on my part. I think I’ve done a lot for this estate.”
Cllr Beckwith joined the borough council as a Labour councillor in 1995 and became an independent about 10 years ago following a ‘lack of support’ for his proposal to get free school transport to Hardwick Middle School for Moreton Hall children.
Asked about his proudest moments as a borough councillor, he said: “I’ve led quite a few oppositions to planning applications. There was one where a peanut factory was proposed for Moreton Hall.
“We do a lot of work supporting individuals and steer them in the right direction. A lot of people have expressed gratitude to me for what I’ve done.
“Thanks to all the people who’ve supported me for a long long time.
“I’m still a county councillor and will continue rattling cages at the county council.”
Cllr Hind said Mr Beckwith’s loss was ‘a real shame’ and would be ‘a real loss’ to the council.
Another independent councillor who lost his seat to what he termed ‘Conservative-mania’ was Derek Redhead, a borough councillor for Wickhambrook for 20 years. He was beaten by Conservative candidate Clive Pollington by just six votes.
“It is rather disappointing that after 20 years they can just kcik you out,” he said.
“I only lost by six votes, which does make it worse, but people made their choice. They’ll have to find out which side their bread is buttered.”
Conservative councillor Sarah Mildmay-White, said she was pleased to have held onto her seat in Rougham.
“I am thankful to all those who came out form the villages to support me,” she said.
“There were also a number of young people in my ward who were enthusiastic about it.
“I’m also really pleased about the turnout. I thought there was an amount of apathy but they came out in force in the end.
“In places in the borough anything about 50 per cent is exceptional.”
After being re-elected in Clare, Alaric Pugh said: “I think it is interesting that because of the higher turnout, some of those who had majorities in the tens now have majorities in the hundreds.
“You feel much more confident representing your community with that kind of support.”
Here are the results for the borough’s wards (* denotes winner):
ABBEYGATE (TWO SEATS)
Robin Bennett (Labour): 691
Judy Broadway (Liberal Democrat): 635
* Jo Rayner (Conservative): 1,169
Paul Ronald Arthur Rynsard (Green): 759
* Andrew Speed (Conservative): 893
BARDWELL (ONE SEAT)
Cyrille Bouche (Labour): 309
James Robert Lumley (UKIP): 293
* Paula Wade (Conservative): 867
Voter turnout: 73.3 per cent
BARNINGHAM (ONE SEAT - UNCONTESTED)
Carol Bull (Conservative)
BARROW (ONE SEAT)
* Ian Houlder (Conservative): 845
Zigurds Guntis Kronbergs (Liberal Democrat): 345
Andrew Whiting (Labour): 195
Voter turnout: 75.2 per cent
CAVENDISH (ONE SEAT)
Stuart L Letten (UKIP): 406
* Peter Anthony Stevens (Conservative): 779
Voter turnout: 72.86 per cent
CHEDBURGH (ONE SEAT - UNCONTESTED)
Angela Rushen (Conservative)
CLARE (ONE SEAT)
* Alaric Sydney Pugh (Conservative): 808
Dave Reynolds (UKIP): 323
Voter turnout: 69.75 per cent
EASTGATE (ONE SEAT)
Nicola Louise Ridgeway (Labour): 518
* Patsy Warby (Conservative): 612
Voter turnout: 61.1 per cent
FORNHAM (ONE SEAT)
* Beccy Hopfensperger (Conservative): 894
Shirley Anne Stephenson (Labour): 336
Voter turnout: 73.01 per cent
GREAT BARTON (ONE SEAT)
* Sarah Broughton (Conservative): 1,054
Tom Stebbing (Labour): 264
Voter turnout: 76.12 per cent
HAVERHILL EAST (THREE SEATS)
Roger John Floyd Andre (Labour): 800
* Anthony George Brown (UKIP): 1,135
* John Burns (UKIP): 892
Jace Exton (Conservative): 754
Ernie Goody (Labour): 724
Pat Hanlon (Labour): 757
* Ivor McLatchy (Conservative): 978
Winny Yang (Conservative): 764
Voter turnout: 57.1 per cent
HAVERHILL NORTH (THREE SEATS)
Thomas Chivers (Labour): 806
* Tim Marks (Conservative): 1,257
* Betty McLatchy (Conservative): 1,095
Paul McManus (Conservative): 980
Alan John Pearson (Labour): 657
* Barry Frank Robbins (UKIP): 1,155
Elizabeth Ann Smith (Labour): 728
Ant Williams (UKIP): 776
Voter turnout: 58.9 per cent
HAVERHILL SOUTH (TWO SEATS)
Maureen Gwendoline Byrne (Labour): 631
* Jason Craig Crooks (UKIP): 689
* Paula Fox (Conservative): 661
Ken Rolph (Liberal Democrat): 157
David Malcolm Smith (Labour): 412
Clive Nathan Turner (Conservative): 364
Voter turnout: 51.2 per cent
HAVERHILL WEST (TWO SEATS)
Mark Stephen Dorey (UKIP): 852
Mary Dunning (Labour): 720
* Margaret Marks (Conservative): 1,150
* David Roach (Conservative): 978
Voter turnout: 62.2 per cent
HORRINGER AND WHELNETHAM (ONE SEAT)
* Terry Clements (Conservative): 905
Robin Howell Davies (Labour): 411
Voter turnout: 76 per cent
HUNDON (ONE SEAT)
* Jeremy Farthing (Conservative): 752
Paul Stigwood (UKIP): 435
Voter turnout: 71.9 per cent
IXWORTH (ONE SEAT - UNCONTESTED)
John Griffiths (Conservative)
KEDINGTON (ONE SEAT)
Bryan John Hawes (UKIP): 305
Stephen Willaiam Nutt (Labour): 223
* Karen Richardson (Conservative): 595
Voter turnout: 71.4 per cent
MINDEN (TWO SEATS)
Mark Ereira-Guyer (Green): 530
* Robert Everitt (Conservative): 1,069
Jonathan Hartley (Labour): 583
Chris Riley (UKIP): 543
* Clive Springett (Conservative): 768
Martin Trnecka (Green): 331
Voter turnout: 68.12 per cent
MORETON HALL (THREE SEATS)
Trevor Beckwith (Independent): 1,428
* Terry Buckle (Conservative): 1,668
Cliff Hind (Labour): 961
* Peter Thompson (Conservative): 1,551
* Frank Warby (Conservative): 1,862
Voter turnout: 68.67 per cent
NORTHGATE (ONE SEAT)
* Diane Hind (Labour): 521
Carl Poole (Conservative): 502
Voter turnout: 55.71 per cent
PAKENHAM (ONE SEAT)
* Simon Brown (Conservative): 926
Gill Malik (Labour): 321
Voter turnout: 61.14 per cent
RISBY (ONE SEAT - UNCONTESTED)
Susan Ann Glossop (Conservative)
RISBYGATE (TWO SEATS)
Rod Barrett (Conservative): 926
* David Nettleton (Independent): 1,067
Marilyn Anne Sayer (Labour): 558
* Julia Wakelam (Green): 928
Voter turnout: 62.87 per cent
ROUGHAM (ONE SEAT)
Kevin Hind (Labour): 351
* Sara Mildmay-White (Conservative): 967
Voter turnout: 71.99 per cent
SOUTHGATE (TWO SEATS)
* Patrick Chung (Conservative): 1,507
Colin Charles Freeman (UKIP): 450
Chris Lale (Liberal Democrat): 490
Jan Lavender (Labour): 586
* Sarah Stamp (Conservative): 1,179
Voter turnout: 71.51 per cent
ST OLAVES (TWO SEATS)
* Bob Cockle (Labour): 699
Quentin Cornish (Labour): 462
* Paul Hopfensperger (Independent): 835
Tom Murray (Conservative): 677
Voter turnout: 51.49 per cent
STANTON (ONE SEAT - UNCONTESTED)
Jim Thorndyke (Conservative)
WESTGATE (TWO SEATS)
* Wayne Hailstone (Conservative): 1,129
Stefan Oliver (Independent): 414
Clive Selwyn Reason (UKIP): 529
* Richard Rout (Conservative): 964
Martin Charles Tilley: 357
Kevin John Waterson (Labour): 573
Voter turnout: 72.52 per cent
WICKHAMBROOK (ONE SEAT)
* Clive Pollington (Conservative): 623
Derek Redhead (Independent): 617
Voter turnout: 70.8 per cent
WITHERSFIELD (ONE SEAT)
Robert Clifton-Brown (Independent): 363
Dudley Haylock (UKIP): 200
* Jane Midwood (Conservative): 617
Voter turnout: 73.4 per cent