Tories still in charge at Waveney

It was a case of as you were at Waveney with one notable exception - the emergence of the authority's first Green councillor.The Conservatives comfortably held onto power, maintaining an 18-seat lead over Labour, but the biggest shock came when Green candidate Graham Elliott stole Beccles North from sitting Tory councillor Brian Woodruff.

It was a case of as you were at Waveney with one notable exception - the emergence of the authority's first Green councillor.

The Conservatives comfortably held onto power, maintaining an 18-seat lead over Labour, but the biggest shock came when Green candidate Graham Elliott stole Beccles North from sitting Tory councillor Brian Woodruff.

Mr Elliott said dealing with traffic congestion and lobbying for improvements on the East Suffolk railway line would be among his main tasks.

He added: “We've been on the doorstep and listened to people and we are there to represent them on the council.”

The neighbouring Beccles South ward threw up another of the day's more interesting stories as council leader Mark Bee's father, Barry, won the seat for the Conservatives from Labour.

Mark Bee said he was delighted by his father's success and quipped: “I shall have to behave myself now.”

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He added: “The Conservative vote has held up well despite some of the problems people think we have had in Waveney. That hasn't been reflected at the ballot box.”

Labour group leader Sally Spore was also pleased with her party's performance, holding on to 12 seats, despite the backlash against the Government elsewhere in the country.

“It was difficult to gauge what the national impact would be, but we thought we could win on local issues,” she said. “By maintaining the status quo, I am probably a little happier than Mark Bee at the moment.”

The Liberal Democrats failed to win any seats outside the Kirkley ward, where Lowestoft Mayor Gifford Baxter held onto his seat. However, Lib Dem leader David Young was not downbeat and pointed to other successes such as pushing Labour into third place in Carlton and scoring well in Bungay.

A third of the council was up for election and the make up of the authority is now: Conservative 30, Labour 12, Liberal Democrat 3, Independent, 2 and Green Party 1. Turnout was 34pc.

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