Liberal Democrats hail success in North Norfolk, as UKIP vote collapses
PUBLISHED: 15:35 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:08 05 May 2017
The Liberal Democrats held their own in the county council elections in North Norfolk, while the UK vote collapsed.
The final tally was seven Lib Dem councillors and four Conservatives.
Four years ago the Lib Dems had five councillors, the Conservatives four and UKIP two.
Liberal Democrat Marie Strong, who won in Wells with a majority of nearly 1,000, said: “It’s been an excellent day for us. It was a great relief as we were a bit concerned that some voters were confused, with the general election just five weeks away.
“Personally, I’m so delighted. I had a huge majority last time, but it’s a difficult time to be standing for the Lib Dems. But I’ve got people out there who know I work for them.”
Another Lib Dem winner Sarah Butikofer, in Holt, added: “It’s fantastic. A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into this. It was a fantastic turn-out. I hope my result will be reflected in Norman Lamb’s vote at the general election.”
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Elsewhere, new Lib Dem councillor for Melton Constable, Steffan Aquarone was overjoyed with his result.
He said: “Going from fourth to first has been a victory for hard work. I’ve had a big team of volunteers, not least my sister, Freya.”
Elsewhere, Liberal Democrat Tim Adams, Cromer Mayor, won Cromer from the Conservatives.
Other Lib Dems winners were Ed Maxfield in Mundesley, who said he was “relieved”, Eric Seward in North Walsham East, and John Timewell in North Walsham West and Erpingham. Mr Timewell said: “I’m very pleased. This will allow me to continue my work in the area, and there is a lot to do.”
Meanwhile, Tom Fitzpatrick, Tory North Norfolk District Council leader, held onto Fakenham with an increased majority. His vote went up from 764 last time to 1321. He said he was “very pleased”.
Nigel Dixon also held onto Hoveton and Stalham for the Conservatives and Judy Oliver, deputy leader of the district council, won Sheringham, a gain from the Lib Dems. Richard Price also gained South Smallburgh for the Conservatives.
The UKIP vote was considerably down with less than 2,000 votes cast for the party in the district.
Meanwhile, Duncan Baker, Conservative, won the Holt district by-election. There was a 50.42pc turnout.