Conservatives take control after results of Norfolk County Council elections, but UKIP and Greens wiped out
PUBLISHED: 12:13 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2017
The Conservatives have gained control of Norfolk County Council, as UKIP and the Greens were wiped out.
Going into today’s counts, no party had overall control at Norfolk County Council, but the Conservatives managed to form an administration in May last year, after succeeding the so-called rainbow alliance.
However, on a day to forget for UKIP and the Greens, the Conservatives took overall control at County Hall, upping their numbers by 13 from 42 to 55.
UKIP lost all 10 of their divisions and the Greens lost their three seats, which were all in Norwich, to Labour. Labour ended up increasing their seats from 14 to 17.
The Lib Dems and Conservatives swapped a few seats, with Cromer switching from Tory to Lib Dem, while Sheringham went in the opposite direction. The Lib Dems came out one seat better off than going into the election.
It means the political make-up of Norfolk County Council is now Conservatives 55, Labour 17, Liberal Democrats 11 and one independent.
The County Hall make-up before today was 42 Conservative, 14 Labour, 11 UKIP and independent, 10 Liberal Democrat, three Green, two non-aligned, one independent and one vacancy.
The newly-elected councillors will take responsibility for services such as adult social care, education, roads, waste disposal, fire and rescue, trading standards and libraries.
The first result to come in was in Great Yarmouth, where UKIP have lost all of the seats.
Labour took Yarmouth Nelson and Southtown from UKIP. Mike Smith-Clare took 843 votes for Labour, ahead of second-placed Peter Fitzgerald with 562 votes.
The Conservatives have also taken Breydon from UKIP, with Tory Carl Smith triumphant with 1,289 votes. UKIP’s Alan Grey, who was elected in UKIP’s 2013 surge, was down in third place, with Labour’s Trevor Wainright in second spot.
Labour’s Colleen Walker has held her Magdalen ward in the town, while Mick Castle keeps Yarmouth Central and North red.
But the Conservatives have taken East Flegg from UKIP. Borough councillor and former police detective Ron Hanton easily beat UKIP’s Jonathan Childs into second place, with 1,529 votes to the 714 garnered by Mr Childs.
And the Conservatives also took Caister on Sea from Labour, through Penny Carpenter. UKIP were second and Labour pushed down to third.
The Tories have also taken Lothingland in the Yarmouth area, which had been vacant following the death of UKIP’s Colin Aldred, Andy Grant will represent the division at County Hall, while borough council leader Graham Plant has retained Gorleston St Andrews for the Conservatives, while Hayden Thirtle held West Flegg for the party.
Earlier, Kay Grey, leader of the UKIP group on Great Yarmouth borough council had said she was not feeling hopeful and felt people had “voted on national issues”.
And in the King’s Lynn area, the Conservatives have taken Gaywood North and Central from UKIP. Jim Perkins, who had been the UKIP county councillor was beaten into third place, with Sheila Young turning the seat blue with 871 votes to Labour’s John Collop’s 621 and the 226 for Mr Perkins.
They have also snatched Gaywood South from Labour. Labour’s Margaret Wilkinson was beaten into second place by Conservative borough councillor Thomas Smith. He took 857 votes to her 758.
Labour have held King’s Lynn North and South through David Collis, while Conservative Simon Eyre has held Freebridge Lynn for the Tories. The Greens came second in that division through Michael de Whalley.
The Conservatives have also taken Dersingham, with Stuart Dark the winner there. The seat had been held by John Dobson, who was not standing in this election. He won as a Conservative but became non-aligned during the course of this term.
And former Labour councillor Alexandra Kemp, who left Labour to become independent comfortably held Clenchwarton and King’s Lynn South. She took 1,181 votes to the 616 for Conservative runner-up Chris Crofts.
The Conservatives also retained Docking through Baron Chenery of Horsbrugh and have taken North Coast through Andrew Jamieson. Independent Richard Bird, who had held it, was not standing.
Borough council leader Brian Long retains Fincham, while Tony White held Downham Market, Harry Humphrey Marshland South annd Martin Storey Feltwell.
There’s a strange state of affairs in Marshland North, where borough councillor Sandra Squire has won the seat for the Conservatives from UKIP, despite currently being suspended by her party.
In the Breckland area, Philip Duigan returns to County Hall for the Conservatives after taking Dereham South from UKIP, while the Tories have also taken Thetford East from UKIP. Denis Crawford, who had a brief stint as UKIP group leader at County Hall after Toby Coke’s resignation was in third place, behind Labour’s Mike Brindle and Conservative winner Roy Brame.
William Richmond retained his Dereham North seat for the Tories and Rhodri Oliver - formerly deputy leader of North Norfolk Council, has held Attleborough for them.
Mark Kiddle-Morris comfortably held Necton and Launditch in the two-horse race with Labour’s Joe Sisto, while former county council leader Bill Borrett has retained Elmham and Matishall with a majority of more than 1,600.
Stephen Askew has held Guiltcross for the Conservatives. while the UKIP collapse continued when Ed Colman comfortably took Swaffham from UKIP. He got 1,577 votes, well ahead of UKIP sitting councillor Paul Smyth.
And county council leader Cliff Jordan holds Yare and All Saints for the Tories, with 73pc of the votes in his division, while Claire Bowes holds Watton.
Terry Jermy held Thetford West for Labour. That was a division where UKIP won by a single vote back in 2013, although Mr Jermy subsequently won after a by-election.
In Norwich, Labour have taken all four divisions previously held by the Greens On a bad day for the party nationally, they have strengthened their showing in the city.
Danny Douglas triumphed in the Mancroft division previously held by Green group leader Richard Bearman, although he was not standing in this election.
They have also taken Nelson from the Greens, through Jess Barnard. She secured 1,735 votes, with second placed Green Tim Jones managing 1,372.
That division was previously held by Green Andrew Boswell, who is standing for the party in the parliamentary election for Broadland next month.
And they made it three with victory over the Greens in the Thorpe Hamlet division. In a ward where the last two Green county councillors defected to the Conservatives during their stint as councillors, 1,175 voted for Labour’s Chris Jones, 75 ahead of Green Lesley Grahame. And they also took Wensum from the Greens.
Labour have held Mile Cross through Chrissie Rumsby, with the Conservatives in second place with Alex Jackson-Dennis. Labour has also held Bowthorpe through Mike Sands, while group leader George Nobbs retains Crome and former Norwich City Council leader Steve Morphew keeps Catton Grove red. He got 1,194 votes, with Conservative Daniel Elmer second with 955.
And the drummer with chart-topping band Blur will be swapping the likes of Glastonbury and Reading for the joys of County Hall. Dave Rowntree has held the University ward, vacated by Bert Bremner, for Labour.
Labour’s Julie Brociek-Coulton has held Sewell and the party has also held Lakenham, where long-serving councillor Sue Whitaker was not standing. Brenda Jones triumphed with a majority of 782, with Conservative Tom Sherman in second place.
Emma Corlett has held Town Close for Labour.
Liberal Democrat Brian Watkins saw off the threat of Conservative William Robb, who got 1,107 voies, to retain Eaton with 1,833 votes.
In Broadland, Conservative John Fisher completed an unusual hat-trick there when he was elected to Woodside division - holding it for his party.
It means he’s been a councillor on Broadland District Council, Norwich City Council and now Norfolk County Council.
Stuart Clancy has also held Taverham for the Conservatives, with 1751 votes to Labour’s 428. Conservative veteran Tony Adams easily held his Drayton and Horsford division by 966 votes, while Shelagh Gurney retained Hellesdon for those wearing blue rosettes.
David Harrison and Dan Roper, both former deputy leaders at County Hall, held Aylsham and Hevingham and Spixworth, respectively, for the Liberal Democrats.
But the Lib Dems lost Reepham to the Conservatives. Stuart Beadle, with 783 votes, was unable to stop Conservative Greg Peck’s victory with 1,231 votes.
Karen Vincent has retained the Old Catton division for the Conservatives, Tom Garrod has kept Wroxham in Tory hands, Brian Iles has done the same in Acle, John Ward for Sprowston, Ian Mackie for Thorpe St Andrew and Broadland District Council leader Andrew Proctor for Blofield and Brundall.
In South Norfolk, it was a case of as you were, with the Conservatives holding their 11 divisions and the Lib Dems their one.
Conservative deputy leader Alison Thomas has comfortably held onto her Long Stratton seat while Martin Wilby, who served as chairman of the environment, development and transport committee retains East Depwade for the Tories.
Barry Stone has also retained Loddon for the Conservatives.
District councillor David Bills will be a new face at County Hall, having held Humbleyard for the Conservatives, while his fellow Tories Beverley Spratt (West Depwade), Colin Foulger (Forehoe), Joe Mooney (Wymondham), Victor Thomson (Henstead), Margaret Dewsbury (Hingham), Keith Kiddie (Diss and Roydon) and Margaret Stone (Clavering) have held those divisions.
But the Conservatives have not had it all their own way - Liberal Democrat Tim East saw off the challenge of Tory Andrew Wiltshire to hold onto Costessey.
And in North Norfolk, the Liberal Democrats took Mundesley from the Conservatives, with Ed Maxfield turning the seat yellow with 1,309 votes. Sarah Butikofer took Holt from UKIP and, in one of the biggest shocks, Tim Adams took Cromer from the Conservatives. He unseated Tory Hilary Cox, who took 1,310 votes to his 1,481.
And the Lib Dems won Melton Constable from UKIP, with Steffan Aquarone the winner there. John Timewell kept North Walsham West and Erpingham in Lib Dem hands
But the Conservatives took South Smallburgh from the Lib Dems, with Richard Price the victor for the Tories. And the Lib Dems also lost Sheringham to the Conservatives.
Judy Oliver, deputy leader of North Norfolk Council is heading to County Hall after her 1,308 votes saw off Lib Dem candidate Helen Dalton-Hare, who got 1,155.
And her district council leader Tom FitzPatrick - a former leader of the Tory group at County Hall - has retained the Fakenham seat he won in 2013.
Nigel Dixon has held Hoveton and Stalham for the Conservatives.
Marie Strong, leader of the Lib Dem group at County Hall retained Wells, with a majority of just under 1,000 votes and Eric Seward held North Walsham East with 1,646 votes with the Conservative Alex Oliver his closest rival with 829 votes.
In Suffolk, the Greens have had some good news in Beccles. They have gained one of the two Beccles seats, through Brambley Crawshaw. Former county council leader Mark Bee held the other seat.
Conservatives held onto Bungay, with David Ritchie landing 1,534 votes and Labour’s Sue Collins in second place with 758.
They also had a victory with one of two Gunton seats, which were previously both Labour. Though Labour’s Keith Patience clung on to a majority, Steve Ardley, Conservative, took the second seat from Janet Craig.
Halesworth and Kessingland and Southwold also remained blue.
The Conservatives have also taken both divisions in Pakefield from Labour, two seats from UKIP in Lowestoft South and one from Labour and UKIP in Oulton.