Conservative district councillor candidate victorious in Eye Ward by-election

Conservative district councillor for the Eye ward, Michael Burke. Submitted photo.
Conservative district councillor for the Eye ward, Michael Burke. Submitted photo.

Conservative candidate Michael Burke has won a by-election to become a district councillor in the Eye Ward.

The 67-year-old takes over from the veteran councillor Charles Flatman, an independent, who had served Eye as a town, district and country councillor for 43 years.

His resignation had triggered the by election – and Mr Flatman offered Mr Burke his full backing in his campaign.

Mr Burke, who was brought up and lives in the town with his wife Anne, had a 40 year business career at senior level, mainly in the food industry, and has worked in the UK as well as overseas.

While it is his first foray into politics, his father, James, served on Eye Town Council and also had two stints as mayor.

Mr Burke said he would aim to protect public services, fight for better traffic management, and ensure “proper development” for two of the town’s sites.

“Hartismere Hospital is not being fully utilised for the local community despite the money spent on the refurbishment,” he said. “I shall campaign vigorously to ensure its full utilisation for the people of Eye and the surrounding area.

“The Paddock House site has been acquired by Mid Suffolk District Council and I will also campaign to ensure that the proposed housing development is in keeping with the Eye Town requirements in both in terms of style and types of housing proposed.”

Eye by-election results: John Blake (Liberal Democrats) – 112; Michael Burke (Conservatives) – 438 (elected); Simon Hooton (Green Party) – 220; Alex Wilson (Labour) – 68.