The Liberal Democrats and Labour won by-elections for Suffolk County Council seats on the same day as this year's district elections.

But their victories will do little to dent the Conservatives' huge majority at Endeavour House, as they still have 53 of the 75 seats.

In Ipswich's Priory Heath division, Lucy Smith comfortably held the seat for Labour with a majority of 351 over the Tories.

Priory Heath has always been a safe Labour division - anything other than an easy win for the party would have been a major shock.

The seat became vacant after the retirement of long-serving Labour councillor Bill Quinton.

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat Seamus Bennett won the Felixstowe Coastal seat that had previously been held by the late Graham Newman, a Conservative.

Mr Newman had been chair of the council from November 2020 until May last year and died after a short illness shortly before Christmas.

Mr Bennett said: “I’m pleased and proud to win this by-election for the Liberal Democrats, our first county seat in Felixstowe for more than 20 years. We’ve worked hard to offer a positive, progressive alternative and I look forward to serving the great people of my hometown.

“I have held regular consultation surgeries and as a Liberal Democrat county councillor I will remain open and accessible to residents and always ready to speak up for Felixstowe’s best interests at county level.

"I was born and educated in Felixstowe, have been a local school governor and currently also volunteer at the tourist information centre.

"There’s a real sense that it’s time for a fresh approach which puts people and the environment first and builds consensus for the common good – that is how I live and work and I can promise you I will bring the same positivity and progressive ideas for Felixstowe.”

Mr Bennett is set to be very busy with council work - he was also elected on to East Suffolk Council and has been a member of Felixstowe Town Council since 2019.