Ipswich Labour Candidate and Council Leader, David Ellesmere has paid tribute to Labour councillors, Dick Kirby and Jen Stimson, who have both retired from the Council a year early, to enable by-elections to take place on 7th May alongside the scheduled Borough and General Elections.
David said: "Dick has been a councillor throughout my time as Leader of the Labour Group, and more recently of the Council. He also served as a councillor during the 1970's. He has always been a great advocate for his ward and has played an important role on the Council's planning and licensing committees. He has always taken the lead role in organising South west councillors' surgeries and our leaflet delivery rounds in Sprites and Stoke Park. I'm delighted that he is continuing with this latter role through this election campaign.
"Jen Stimson may only served St John's ward for three years, but has been an effective member of both the St John's team of councillors since winning the seat from the Tories, and of the Council. It's a great shame that she is standing down from the Council, but I know how much of a challenge it has been for her balancing work and family life with her Council duties - especially since her promotion at work."
In his letter of resignation, Dick referred to how he had enjoyed his eleven years as councillor for Sprites ward and his work on Planning and Licensing, as well as his role with the Greenways Project.
Signing off as a councillor, Dick said: "I know I am handing on my responsibilities to an able and hard-working team of councillors and will watch their achievements with appreciation as they overcome the inevitable problems that lie ahead.
"It's a demanding and under-appreciated calling that contributes vastly to our community's improvement and towards which I am proud to have contributed my time and energies."
Jen said: "I have enjoyed playing a part in the Council over the past three years, and have been privileged to be part of an administration which is building new council houses, protecting frontline services and creating jobs and investment to our town."