Its your chance to VOTE and have your say in how our county is run. If you don’t vote you can’t moan about the way the Council makes decisions. If you do vote you could make a difference and swing the balance of power. The turnout in Felixstowe in the 2013 elections was 32% – there is room for a swing if the 68% of voters who did not vote last time put their cross on the voting paper. We live in a democracy that many in the past fought hard to achieve and maintain. Next year will mark the 100th anniversary since women won the mighty struggle to get the vote. Make the most of your opportunity.
Elections for Suffolk County Council will be held on Thursday 4th May. In Felixstowe we have two divisions – Suffolk Coastal (two seats) and Felixstowe North and Trimleys (one seat)
Suffolk County Council are responsible for Adult and Community Services including social care, arts, heritage, sport, libraries, safeguarding, and building strong communities; Children and Young People’s Services including early help, education, youth, community health, early years and specialist services; Public Health and Protection covering Public Health, Fire and Rescue, Community Safety, Trading Standards and Emergency Planning; and Resource Management including registrars for Births, Deaths and Marriages and Coroners.
This is a run down of candidates standing – and information that I could find out about them on line. The only party that had nothing about their candidates on line was the Green Party. David Coults for UKIP is also conspicuous by lack of information.
Candidates for the Felixstowe divisions are as follows:
Suffolk Coastal: (you can vote for two candidates)
Seamus Bennett was born in Felixstowe in 1964. After a happy childhood in the town, he moved away, first to study and then to work in teaching and overseas development – while maintaining his strong Suffolk roots. In 2008, he moved back to Felixstowe to support his parents and to give his young family the same advantages of growing up in Suffolk. He worked in two local charities, the job centre and Felixstowe Academy. Then in 2016 he decided to follow his dream of making swimming his career as well as his hobby, gaining Swim Smooth certified status and setting up a successful swim coaching business.
Jan loves Felixstowe! Having lived in Suffolk since 1977 Jan believes that Felixstowe is the best place to live, work and be happy and now regards it as her challenge to put that enthusiasm to work on the behalf of our local residents.
Jan has been the UK President of the Human Rights Organisation FIAN, a regional trainer for Amnesty International, a school governor and throughout her 40 years in Suffolk has enjoyed being creative and inspired by such a splendid county
Corrine Franklin has lived in Felixstowe for over 25 years and has four children. Prior to having her family she lived and worked in London, and on moving to Suffolk in the 80’s she worked in Management Services for Suffolk Coastal District Council. Currently she is the voluntary manager for the Felixstowe Opportunity Group, working with children with special needs and their families, and is a Governor at a local Primary school. She is particularly concerned at the current level of funding for our local schools and the impact it will have on our children’s education. Corrine is keen to have the opportunity to listen to the views of the residents of Felixstowe Coastal, to represent them at Suffolk County Council, and to stand up for our local public services in Felixstowe.
Margaret Morris has lived in Felixstowe for nearly 30 years – her children and grandchildren enjoy visiting our beautiful coastline, crabbing at The Ferry and watching the container ships at the Port. As a member of Suffolk Coastal Disability Forum, she welcomes the efforts of Felixstowe Forward to improve access within Felixstowe and especially signposting the easier routes through the Spa Gardens. Margaret is involved with The Oaks Children’s Centre, welcomes its high standards, and would like to see a SureStart centre again in the Langer Road area. She loves travelling by train – and as Secretary of Felixstowe Travel Watch wants a far more reliable service on our line. She is part of the leadership team at The Laydens community café in Langley Avenue – where all are made welcome.
Graham has been a Suffolk County Councillor for Felixstowe Coastal since 2005 and has a proven record of delivering for the town. He has held Cabinet positions in Adult Care, Children’s Services & Education; and Roads & Transport. He is chair of Felixstowe Travel Watch
Steve has been on the Felixstowe Town Council for 2years and works in retail. He is married with children at primary school and is on the board as a Governor.
Keith has lived in Felixstowe for 10 years and is married with three children. He is a company director in international finance
Felixstowe North & Trimley: ( vote for one candidate)
Dave Ablitt Labour
Dave Ablitt grew up in Trimley St Mary and has lived in the Felixstowe area for almost all his adult life. In 2008 he graduated from Brunel University with a BSc in Politics. He currently works in the freight forwarding sector, one of the key industries of the town. Dave has two young children who attend one of the local nursery / primary schools. He is involved in local youth football and currently coaches one of the local under 7s sides. Dave would like the opportunity to listen to the views of the people of Felixstowe and Trimley, and is keen to have the opinions of young families better represented on Suffolk County Council. He would aim to highlight the concerns local people have with regards to the level of funding for our schools, and the impact this has on our children’s education.
Stuart Bird Conservative
Stuart was born in Ipswich and has lived in Felixstowe for 24 years. He has worked in several occupations, most recently in financial services in Ipswich. He is a keen walker and is also a member of the National Trust.
Andrew Marfleet Liberal Democrats
Dr Andrew Marfleet has lived in Trimley St Martin since 1982 with his wife Debby. He has three children and six grandchildren. Andrew’s career was in education, progressing from teaching to research and working at both UEA and Cambridge University before becoming an Ofsted inspector. He took early retirement in 2007
Jonathan Mulberg Green
David Coults UKIP
Suffolk is divided into 63 electoral divisions, 12 of which are represented by 2 councillors. Large towns maybe split into several divisions and in rural areas groups of parishes make-up a single division.
The Council is currently controlled by the Conservative party.
The full political make-up of the council was:
- Conservative 37
- Green 2
- Independent 3
- Labour 15
- Liberal Democrat 8
- UKIP 10