LOCAL NEWS UPDATE 03/05/2019
Written by Mike Stewart on 4 May, 2019
TORIES HOLD ON AT SOUTH NORFOLK, BUT TAKE A HIT IN MID SUFFOLK
Conservatives have managed to hold on to control of South Norfolk council, after counting which got underway this morning in the local elections.
But the national trend against the two major parties has played its part in Mid Suffolk, where the Tories have lost overall control.
SOUTH NORFOLK STAYS BLUE
There was no real sign of any breakthrough from the Tory stranglehold in South Norfolk, as expected, with Conservative candidates polling strongest in most wards.
Graham Minshull, Keith Kiddie and Jenny Wilby, wife of former town mayor Martin Wilby, were voted in at Diss & Roydon. Current Mayor Trevor Wenman and his wife Fiona failed to get elected for the Lib-Dems there. Martin Wilby, also a county councillor, was re-elected at Beck Vale, Dickleburgh and Scole, along with the other Tory candidate.
Two Conservatives were returned at Harleston, but at Ditchingham, two Liberals broke the mould to take both seats. Conservatives were also successful in Bressingham & Burston, Bunwell, Forncett, Hempnall, and Newton Flotman, while at Brooke, council leader John Fuller was re-elected with an unusually high 50 per cent turnout.
Tories regained both seats at Stratton but there was a surprise at Loddon, where Labour picked up its first seat on the council since the 1990s. One of the successful candidates at Diss, Graham Minshull said he felt that the Conservatives had done as well as they could hope for.
THE GREENS MAKE A MARK IN MID SUFFOLK
There was some success for the Greens and the Liberal-Democrats in Mid Suffolk, as they took seats from Conservatives, including that of Tory group leader Nick Gowrley at Stowmarket; Liberals winning there.
The Greens took Bacton from a sitting cabinet member, also taking Gislingham and holding Mendlesham. The Greens also had a major victory at Beccles, where they took all three seats with over 10,000 votes cast for them.
But, for the Conservatives, Peter Gould held Eye, county council leader Matthew Hicks retained his seat at Hoxne, and other Tory seats were held at Palgrave, Debenham, Rickinghall and Fressingfield. The Conservatives still have the most seats on Mid-Suffolk, but no longer have a majority over the Greens, in second place, the Lib-Dems and an Independent.
WORKS STARTS SOON ON ACCIDENT BLACK-SPOT
Construction work is set to begin next week to improve a dangerous accident-blackspot on the A140.
A new roundabout is to be built as part of a £4.5 million project to revamp the Hempnall crossroads. The area has been the scene of several serious accidents in recent years, incoluding two fatal crashes late last year.
JAIL FOR ARSONIST WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
A man has been jailed for arson after setting fire to his flat at Eye.
29 year old Matthews Eaves has been given a 28-month sentence, eight of which he has already served while on remand. The court heard that Eaves started four fires in the Hutton Court flat following a stay at a mental health unit and had a history of mental health poroblems. He had been kept in custody and given anti-psychotic medicine, since his arrest.