Voters in Worlingham visit the polls in crucial-by-election

VOTERS were out today in Worlingham, near Beccles, in a crucial by-election that could decide which party has control of Waveney District Council

The by-election was called after the resignation of disgraced Conservative councillor Andrew Draper.

Mr Draper resigned after admitting drink-driving and assaulting a police officer.

He also later admitted sending an offensive e-mail to a Norfolk police sergeant after he was told his complaint against the police over the way he was arrested for drink-driving had been rejected.

However, during the election campaign it emerged that Labour group leader on the council, Julian Swainson, had been reported for offensive remarks he posted on a social networking site.

Just what the voters in the village make of some extraordinary going-ons remain to be seen.

The council currently consists of 23 Labour members, 22 Conservative, one independent and one Green.

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The Conservatives have control with the support of the independent chairman.

In the council elections in May the Conservatives comfortably took the two seats on offer with former leader Mark Bee receiving 1,046 votes and Mr Draper 951. The nearest Labour candidate polled 655 votes.

There are five candidates contesting the Worlingham by-election:

Norman Brooks (Con); Sylvia Robbins (Lab); Doug Farmer (Lib Dem); Stuart Foulger (UKIP); and Sue Bergin (Green).

The result of the by-election is expected during the early hours. For up to the minute results visit our website.

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