Labour holds onto Norwich

Norwich local council election count and declarations in Open, Bank Plain. Sue Sands celebrates keeping Bowthorpe. Photo: Steve Adams Norwich local council election count and declarations in Open, Bank Plain. Sue Sands celebrates keeping Bowthorpe. Photo: Steve Adams

Saturday, May 24, 2014
9:47 AM

City Hall remains under Labour’s control after a Norwich City Council election count which ended with the status quo.

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Fourteen seats were up for grabs, but not one of them changed political hue.

Labour held eight seats, the Greens defended their five, while the Liberal Democrats saw off the threat from the Conservatives in Eaton.

The UK Independence Party failed to gain any seats, but came second in four of the five seats it stood in.

Glenn Tingle, who stood in the Sewell ward and is UKIP’s candidate for the general election in Norwich North, said he was pleased the overall vote was going up, but said that it was hard to break into a traditionally Labour area.

The council’s leader Brenda Arthur played down the threat to Labour from UKIP saying that Norwich had remained a “UKIP free city” because of what her party had delivered in power.

“Norwich does different, we have always done different, we have bucked the national trend and we are a UKIP free city,” she said.

The final result, which was delivered on a turnout of 38.1pc, nearly 12pc higher than the last time local elections were contested, means the political make up of the council is Labour 21, Greens 15 and Liberal Democrats 3.

Ms Arthur also played down the threat of the opposition party, the Greens, who cemented their position with increased majorities in its seats,. She claimed it had taken votes from the Tories. Green party leader Andrew Boswell said the poll had shown that its vote was “resilient” and that it was holding support.

Despite a grim local election for the Liberal Democrats nationally, James Wright, who held on in the Eaton ward, said his victory demonstrated that where there were candidates in place working hard, people respected the party and continued to vote for it.

The Tories failed to win a seat, but Norwich party chairman Barry Cochrane said that the party had run a good campaign in difficult circumstance and the vote share had held up. He said that the party had to keep plugging away to win a Norwich seat.

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