Voters in Suffolk, once again, showed overwhelming support for the Conservatives in last week’s county council elections.
Not only did the party retain control of Suffolk County Council but it gained 11 seats on the previous election held in 2013.
UKIP, meanwhile, lost all nine of its seats and Labour and the Liberal Democrats also suffered losses.
The council now consists of 50 Conservatives, nine Labour – down three, five Liberal Democrats – down two, three Greens – up one, two Labour and Co-operative – down one, three Independents, two Conservative and Unionists and a West Suffolk Independent.
“Unlike our opposition, we fought a campaign in every single division and we fought every single division to win,” said current Conservative council leader Colin Noble.
Though some think holding local elections so close to next month’s general election may have influenced how the electorate voted, Cllr Noble said the Conservatives in Suffolk ‘certainly fought these local elections on local issues’.
“We need to get out there again and explain to people the real importance of giving the Prime Minister a strong mandate to go to Brussels to negotiate the best possible deal for this country,” he added.
In St Edmundsbury, Conservative Richard Rout has replaced fellow Tory Sarah Stamp in the Hardwick division and Independent Trevor Beckwith will continue to represent Eastgate and Moreton Hall following his re-election.
Cllr Rout said: “I’m incredibly humbled by the result and a turnout that was one of the highest in the county, it shows just how much our area means to its residents. Sarah Stamp’s previous majority was one of the smallest in Suffolk, it is now one of the largest. This is a reflection of the hard and excellent work Sarah put in over the past four years – she’s certainly left me some huge shoes to fill.
“Beyond this though, I hope the result was a reflection of the positive campaign I fought and the miles I walked, 60 in the last three days alone whilst out meeting local people. It was a campaign about real people and getting real results in our community, regardless of party politics.
“The election was incredibly hard work but the real hard work starts now. The residents of Hardwick deserve the very best town and county we can deliver and I’ll be working tirelessly to ensure they get it.”
Cllr Beckwith said: “I wasn’t very confident once the general election was called, as people then tend to concentrate on national issues, particularly, this year, Brexit.
“I’m very grateful residents in the division voted on local issues and, dare I say, on how they had been represented over my three previous terms as their county councillor.”
Conservative Robert Everitt won the Tower division’s first seat while Independents David Nettleton and Paul Hopfensperger were in a close contest for the second, which the former won by just five votes, forcing a recount.
It was third time lucky for Cllr Everitt, who had stood twice before without success.
He said: “I’m glad I took the decision to only put one Conservative councillor up because if we’d put two up we would have split the Conservative vote, which is what’s happened previously.”
“I’d like to congratulate David for being a second representative on the basis he’s a good local councillor and I know he does a good job for residents, as I hope I will too,” he added.
Cllr Nettleton, who ‘had butterflies and could not stand still’ during the recount, said he had expected the result to be tight and was pleased to have been re-elected.
He said: “I always thought there were going to be the four of us who were quite well known, Mark (Ereira-Guyer), Paul (Hopfensperger), Robert (Everitt) and myself – it was an advantage that the four of us were councillors and had a track record of doing things. From the electorate’s point of view they were trying to pick two out of four so it was always going to be tight, though perhaps not that tight.”
Conservatives were re-elected in the Blackbourn, Clare, Newmarket and Red Lodge, and Thingoe North divisions, with Joanna Spicer, Mary Evans, Robin Millar and Beccy Hopfensperger keeping hold of their respective seats.
The party also retained seats in Mildenhall and Thingoe South after Louis Busuttil won the former, previously held by Cllr James Waters, and Karen Soons the latter, previously held by Cllr Terry Clements.
In Brandon UKIP lost its seat to Victor Lukaniuk, of the West Suffolk Independents.
The Conservatives also retained control of Norfolk County Council with an increased majority. The council now consists of 55 Tories – up 15 from 2013, 17 Labour – up three, 11 Liberal Democrats – up one and an Independent. The Green Party lost all three of its Norfolk seats.
And it was the same story at both Essex and Cambridgeshire County Councils, where the Tories held onto power with an increased majority.
At Essex the Conservatives now have 56 seats with the Liberal Democrats winning seven, six for Labour, two for Canvey Island Independent Party, two Independents, one seat for the Greens and one seat for the Independent Loughton Residents Association.
At Cambridge the Conservatives now have 36, with the Liberal Democrats winning 15, Labour seven, two for the St Neots Independent Group and an Independent. UKIP lost all 12 of its Cambridgeshire seats.
See local results below.
Cyrille Bouché, Labour, 568
Joanna Spicer, Conservative, 2,532 (elected)
Terence Carter, Green, 185
Tony Elliott, Labour, 198
Steve Phillips, Liberal Democrat, 987
Anne Whybrow, Conservative, 1,169 (elected)
Susan Dean, Labour, 242
Stephen Frost, Conservative, 562
Victor Lukaniuk, West Suffolk Independents, 937 (elected)
Reg Silvester, UKIP, 256
Robin Davies, Labour, 355
Mary Evans, Conservative, 2,445 (elected)
Stuart Letten, UKIP, 315
Alex Rolph, Liberal Democrat, 545
Robert Lindsay, Green, 1,630 (elected)
Philip Mutton, Conservative, 1,519
Rickaby Shearly-Sanders, Labour, 106
Leon Stedman, UKIP, 115
Eastgate and Moreton Hall
Trevor Beckwith, Independent, 1050 (elected)
Chris Lale, Liberal Democrat, 255
Peter Thompson, Conservative, 924
Elle Zwandahl, Labour, 308
David Bosworth, UKIP, 203
Julie Cuninghame, Labour, 249
John Field, Liberal Democrat, 1,030 (elected)
David Penny, Green, 85
John Whitehead, Conservative, 1,000
Nicola Iannelli-Popham, Labour, 463
Helen Korfanty, Liberal Democrat, 470
Sara Rae, Green, 224
Richard Rout, Conservative, 1,645 (elected)
Jessica Fleming, Conservative, 1,810 (elected)
Anthony Scott-Robinson, Labour, 431
Josh Townsley, Liberal Democrat, 258
Rowland Warboys, Green, 459
Maureen Byrne, Labour, 1,134
Lewis Curtis, Liberal Democrat , 455
Julian Flood, UKIP , 773
Paula Fox, Conservative, 1,481 (elected)
Quillon Fox, Conservative, 1,324 (elected)
Ken Rolph, Liberal Democrat, 376
David Smith, Labour, 845
Haverhill East & Kedington
Oliver Forder, Liberal Democrat, 172
David Roach, Conservative, 922 (elected)
Jason Simpkin, Labour, 464
Ant Williams, UKIP, 366
Richard Kemp, Independent, 1,614 (elected)
Peter Lynham, UKIP, 119
Margaret Maybury, Conservative, 809
John Smith, Green, 131
Paul Watson, Labour, 208
Louis Busuttil, Conservative, 1,405 (elected)
David Chandler, Independent, 423
Kevin Yarrow, Labour, 317
Newmarket and Red Lodge
Andrew Appleby, West Suffolk Independents, 273
Roger Dicker, UKIP, 322
Andrew Gillett, Liberal Democrat, 213
Robin Millar, Conservative, 1,203 (elected)
Joy Uney, Labour, 373
Ralph Brownie,Liberal Democrat, 164
Jack Fawbert, Labour, 313
David Gathercole, Independent, 383
Colin Noble, Conservative, 1,362 (elected)
John Smith, Independent 379
Stowmarket North & Stowupland
John Curle, Liberal Democrat, 181
Gary Green, Conservative, 1,320 (elected)
Susan Hollands, Labour, 376
Keith Welham, Green, 793
Nikki Betts, Labour, 307
Max Betts-Davies, Green, 167
Nicholas Gowrley, Conservative, 921 (elected)
Keith Scarff, Liberal Democrat, 789
Stephen Searle, UKIP, 220
Ursula Ajimal, Labour, 293
Jon James, Liberal Democrat, 199
Andy Mellen, Green, 678
Jane Storey, Conservative, 1,927 (elected)
Philip Cockell, Labour, 274
Gilly Morgan, Conservative, 1,263
Penny Otton, Liberal Democrat, 1,346 (elected)
Beccy Hopfensperger, Conservative, 1,989 (elected)
Frederick Rowell, Labour and Co-operative, 439
Peter Turner, Liberal Democrat, 302
Hilary Appleton, Labour, 409
Dawn Dicker, UKIP, 145
Zigurds Kronbergs, Liberal Democrat, 436
Karen Soons, Conservative, 2,110 (elected)
Matthew Hicks, Conservative, 2,066 (elected)
David Payne, Liberal Democrat, 455
Stan Robinson, Labour, 431
Quentin Cornish, Labour, 998
Mark Ereira, Green, 1,406
Robert Everitt, Conservative, 1,833 (elected)
Alex Griffin, Labour, 907
Paul Hopfensperger, Independent, 1,623
Julia Lale, Liberal Democrat, 509
David Nettleton, Independent, 1,628 (elected)
Sheena Rawlings, Liberal Democrat, 1,073
Glen Horn, Conservative, 1,135
Andrew Stringer, Green, 1,645 (elected)
Mark Valladares, Liberal Democrat, 122
Terry Wilson, Labour, 166
John Crofts, Liberal Democrats, 273
Martin Storey, Conservative, 2009 (elected)
Peter Wortley, Labour, 659
Brenda Canham, Labour, 355
Fabian Eagle, Conservative, 2131 (elected)
James Minto, Liberal Democrat, 225
Sandra Walmsley, Green, 250
Roy Brame, Conservative, 982 (elected)
Mike Brindle, Labour, 725
Denis Crawford, UKIP, 334
Jane James, Conservative, 853
Terry Jermy, Labour, 1,323 (elected)
John Newton, UKIP, 392
Steve Bolter, Liberal Democrat, 541
Bill Edwards, Labour, 592
David Finch, Conservative, 3222 (elected)
David Holmes, Green, 242
David Huxler, UKIP, 371
Paul Allington, Green, 304
Lorna Howe, UKIP, 325
Peter Simmons, Labour, 405
Simon Walsh, Conservative, 2710 (elected)
Antoinette Wattebot, Liberal Democrat, 954
John Bald, Conservative, 1,579
Henry Batchelor, Liberal Democrat, 1,957 (elected)
Paul Richardson, Green, 293
Ernie Turkington, Labour, 282
Matthew Barton, Green, 148
Peter McDonald, Liberal Democrat, 1,248
Jackie Scott, Labour, 286
Peter Topping, Conservative, 2,066 (elected)