Tories get majority back at Suffolk County Council
- Credit: Archant
The effective Conservative majority at Suffolk County Council has been restored after the party's candidate won the by-election at Newmarket and Red Lodge.
Forest Heath council deputy leader Robin Millar took the seat with a majority of 150. It had previously been held by former cabinet member for education Lisa Chambers who resigned from the authority at the end of last year.
The turnout for the election was less than 18pc – and the election campaign in the division had been seen as low-key.
However Mr Millar was delighted by the result and said it would be a real privilege to represent the area at Endeavour House.
He said: 'I am looking forward to working with the residents of the area to try to help them deal with the growth we are facing because this is such a wonderful place to live.
'And I know I have a hard act to follow because Lisa is very well known and did a great deal for the area.'
His win brings the Tory strength on the 75-seat authority up to 37, but one of the independent councillors is former Conservative Brian Riley who always tends to vote with his former party when he comes to a meeting from his home in
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the United States.
There remains one other vacant seat on the authority, in Haverhill, which became vacant following the death of Conservative Tim Marks.
Council leader Colin Noble was delighted by the victory: 'We had a very good candidate and in the end it was a fairly clear victory – it showed that the people of the area liked what we were doing.'
He did not feel the low turnout was a surprise for a council by-election in February.
'It was a cold day and I think a lot of people didn't want to turn out – but the important thing is that we got enough supporters to vote.'
The full result of the Newmarket and Red Lodge by-election:
Robin Millar (C): 644
Roger Dicker(UKIP): 494
Michael Jefferys (Lab): 284
Andrew Appleby (Ind): 123
Tim Huggan (LD): 76