Wow so many responses here! Sorry to be so late replying, got busy yesterday and didnt find the time to get back on here.
It does seem that my plant a) is indeed Symphytum ibericum. And yes it can be a little invasive and grows rapidly however I've no aversion to it. Where it grows in my garden it covers half of an almost impossible to plant in banked area and as I'm a busy lady, I love the fact that it just gets on with it and doesn't need a lot of attention. How its quite so hardy I don't know, since we've lived there its had it all, frost, ice, snow, rain and lots of it and gale force winds and yet it still just does its thing. Its not a plant I would ever have chosen myself, but its working well where it is so I'll happily leave it, cut it back once a year and see how it goes. I especially don't want to uproot it as the bumble bees really do love it!
Plant b will be dug up and relocated early next spring when it starts to poke back through again and hopefully then it will flower.
Thank you all again so much for your help, Heather x