Norwich City Council elections: Who is standing in Thorpe Hamlet, Sewell and Nelson?
11:29 19 May 2014
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2010
Nelson and Sewell are both Norwich City Council wards where the parties currently in control will be hoping that voters stick with them, even though familiar faces have moved on.
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Former Green group leader Claire Stephenson is not standing in Nelson ward, which means Tim Jones will be trying to keep it Green.
The Greens comfortably saw off the challenge from Labour in the 2012 elections, but victor David Rogers quit just five months later. Current City Hall Green Party leader Andrew Boswell won in the subsequent by-election.
In Sewell. Labour’s Sue Sands has switched to stand in Bowthorpe, with the party pinning its hopes on Matthew Packer to retain the seat for them.
In the 2012 elections, Labour finished just over 300 votes above the Greens, but the presence of UKIP’s Glenn Tingle, who finished third in the fight for the county council Sewell seat last year and Karen Michael from newcomers Left Unity could make for an interesting battle.
Thorpe Hamlet is a ward which has been various hues over the years, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats still smarting over how the Greens muscled in on their territory. Green candidate Lesley Grahame will want to continue the trend by retaining her seat. Two of her opponents have previous experience at City Hall.
Labour’s Eamonn Burgess and Liberal Democrat Simon Nobbs have both had stints as city councillors and would relish a return to the council.
The current political make-up of the city council is Labour (20), Green Party (15) and Liberal Democrats (3). There is currently a vacancy in University ward, following the resignation of Labour’s Sarah Grenville.
Polls are open on Thursday from 7am until 10pm. The count is the next day.
Robert HANSARD (Conservative)
“I am in my third year at the University of East Anglia, studying politics, philosophy and economics and staying on to do a Masters in environmental science and humanities, with a primary interest in environmental philosophy.
“I’m standing for election to offer the dissenting voice in council, and ensure that the residents of Nelson ward are not taken for granted as a safe seat.
“As a Conservative I believe the council should represent all residents and find solutions which engage with their daily concerns, apart from partisan party politics.”
Beth JONES (Labour and Co-operative Party)
“I am proud to be the Labour and Co-operative candidate for Nelson, my home for 10 years.
“Over the past year I have spoken to residents about issues ranging from concerns about trees to bins and parking, along with individual casework.
“Many have supported my campaigns to protect our post office, the NHS and classroom assistants. But there is much more we can achieve.”
Tim JONES (Green Party)
Tim teaches English literature at the University of East Anglia and is submitting his PhD shortly. He has lived in Norwich for twelve years.
He has been campaigning in Nelson ward alongside Green councillors all year round.
He said: “I have really enjoyed meeting residents whilst working on important issues such as gathering signatures to protect the social care budgets in the county council.”
Ryan MERCER (Liberal Democrat)
“As a local resident, I am immensely proud to be part of the Golden Triangle community and the need to protect its unique character.
“I am campaigning to bring back our street lights so residents can feel safe walking home at night and end the absurd policy of cutting down and not replacing street trees across the city.”
Daniel ELMER (Conservative)
“I came to live in Norwich initially as a student and have enjoyed several happy years in the city and hope to enjoy many more.
“As a councillor I will prioritise support for local businesses and job creation.
“If you elect me my first priority will be to cut councillors allowances which should never have been allowed to rise in a time of austerity.”
Karen MICHAEL (Left Unity)
Karen quit the Labour Party after it voted through a £189m pound cut to the Norfolk County Council budget. She joined Left Unity to give voters the choice of being represented by someone who is pro-public service.
Karen was central to the formation of the Save the Silver Rooms campaign. She is a branch officer and a shop steward for her UNISON Branch.
Sam NEAL (Liberal Democrats)
“I am proud to stand for the Liberal Democrats in Sewell, being inspired by the great number of positive policies and actions they have implemented locally and in government.
“Delivering the pupil premium and a £800 tax cut (by raising the amount you can earn without paying tax), along with keeping Labour in check at City Hall, are to name but a few.”
Matthew PACKER (Labour)
“I am seeking election as councillor for Sewell because I have a determined desire to help the neighbourhood.
“If elected I will campaign to ensure local residents are not exploited by landlords; lobby for Norwich to become a safer, cleaner and low carbon city; campaign for support for those affected by government funding cuts and seek to build on the excellent community work already underway in projects like The Silver Rooms.”
Glenn TINGLE (UKIP)
“I am the prospective parliamentary candidate for UKIP Norwich North, I am standing in Sewell as this is where I was born and I spend much of my time here visiting relatives and friends.
“Sewell has changed dramatically since I was a child and not all for the best. “Some traffic calming projects are totally impractical and no consultation with the residents has taken place.”
Matthew TOWNSEND (Green Party)
Matt lives in Sewell with his wife, Ash
Haynes, who is a Green Party councillor.
He has previously campaigned against the demolition of social housing, for better public transport and against waste incineration.
Matt believes everyone should have access to decent homes and social welfare.
Eamonn BURGESS (Labour)
“I believe the environment needs more protection and promotion by all mainstream parties, and the economic crisis is no excuse for compromise.
“Eleven years ago, as a councillor I chaired the planning committee, helped save the Wensum Valley from being tarmacked over, helped the council win the Inner Ring Road inquiry, and loved helping local residents enjoy life in our bustling city centre. I am hungry for more.”
Michael GILLESPIE (Conservative)
“A year ago I moved back to Norwich after working in London for three years.
“I really care about Norwich and our local community and that is why I am standing for Thorpe Hamlet, where I live.
“I want to see council tax frozen to help local residents cope in tough times and a cut in business rates so that we can get more young people into work.”
Lesley GRAHAME (Green Party)
Lesley has lived in Thorpe Hamlet for 30 years, and has been campaigning on peace and justice issues for even longer. She joined the Green Party to be part of an organisation that is campaigning both locally and globally on all the important issues.
She works as a community nurse, and is a member of Unison. She is most proud of her part in getting Wensum Lodge Sports Hall re-opened, and helping people secure pieces of land to grow food around their homes.
Simon NOBBS (Liberal Democrat)
“I’m standing for the Lib Dems because I want to see more fairness in the city. I was born and grew up near Norwich and have lived here nearly all my life.
“I’m a professional – a qualified accountant – and I run my own business. Over recent times, having experienced redundancy and a changeable work environment, I know that times are tough for many of us and I would like to work hard to help others in my city.”