Familiar faces to depart County Hall as Norwich candidates line-up for election battle

Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire - Credit: PA

While five Norwich county councillors will be leaving their posts, several familiar political names have been nominated for the city's 13 seats.

Issues affecting the area include the proposed £141.5m Norwich northern distributor road (NDR). The route may be outside of Norwich's boundary but aims to ease congestion within the city centre. The debate continues as to how successful such a route will prove, particularly with the road running from Postwick to Taverham but not joining the A47 heading west.

The city has also proven to be at the forefront of the changing academic world, with proposals for free schools emerging and coming to fruition plus academies also developing.

But while Norwich is home to Norfolk County Council's headquarters, in Martineau Lane, and is effectively the capital of Norfolk, no members of the Conservative cabinet represent a division of the city.

In 2009, the Greens secured seven seats while the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats picked up two apiece.

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But in the last four years there have been two changes. The first saw Thorpe Hamlet's then-Green Party leader Phil Hardy leave for the Conservatives.

Mr Hardy polled 1,371 votes (46.16pc) as a Green candidate, with the Lib Dems second with 620 votes, the Conservatives third with 573 votes and Labour fourth with 406 votes.

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His defection was followed by a petition calling for his resignation while officials from Labour, the Greens and Lib Dems joined the protest.

Mr Hardy announced earlier this year he will seek re-election in Thorpe Hamlet, with Adrian Dearnley providing the Green challenge, Eamonn Burgess for Labour and Simon Nobbs for the Lib Dems.

The second city change saw Lib Dem Fiona Williamson resign from her Lakenham seat in 2011 to pursue a research project in south-east Asia.

She was replaced after a by-election by Labour's Sue Whitaker, who finished second in the 2009 contest.

The Green trio of Jennifer Toms, Stephen Little and Marcus Hemsley will depart from Sewell, Town Close and Wensum respectively. Catton Grove Conservative Charlotte Casimir and Eaton Lib Dem Mervyn Scutter will also not stand for re-election.

Sewell could be the most intriguing of the five divisions as former Lord Mayor of Norwich Evelyn Collishaw is nominated for the Conservatives, Sewell city councillor Julie Brociek-Coulton for Labour, Stuart Beadle for the Lib Dems and Glenn Tingle for the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Jonathan Hill will be seeking to retain the division for the Greens.

Another key battleground could be Mile Cross, as Green Party candidate Richard Edwards attempts to defend his seat after winning by six votes from Labour in 2009.

UKIP is fielding four candidates in Norwich.

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