Conservatives pledge to repay voters’ faith after Norfolk County Council election success
- Credit: Ian Burt
There was joy for the Conservatives as they took overall control of Norfolk County Council, but despair for UKIP and the Greens, who suffered election wipeout.
Delighted Tories went some way to making up for the defeats suffered in County Hall elections four years ago.
On that occasion, UKIP won 15 seats and the Tories lost 20.
But today UKIP are facing a future with no seats at all on Norfolk County Council, while the Conservatives added 13 to take their tally to 55 and win overall control.
Conservative leader Cliff Jordan pledged his party would deliver for the people who put their faith back in the Conservatives after the bruising events of 2013.
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He said: 'On the county council we promised we would listen and we have listened. In the last year we've been running the council we've put into action some of the things that the people wanted.
'We've only been in there one year - we've got a lot to do. We've got a contract now - a manifesto - we will deliver it.'
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Stuart Agnew, UKIP MEP for the East, who watched on at the Great Yarmouth count, borrowed prime minister Theresa May's phrase to describe it as 'a strong and stable defeat' for his party.
Labour increased their representation at County Hall from 14 to 17. Although the party suffered losses to the Conservatives in Caister-on-Sea and Gaywood South, they won Yarmouth Nelson and Southtown from UKIP and took all four seats in Norwich which the Greens had taken at the 2013 elections.
Labour leader George Nobbs said: 'I'm very, very pleased. We've got 12 of the 13 seats in Norwich which is very good indeed.'
But he said he was disappointed that 'local issues had been drowned out' because of the calling of a general election and smaller parties had paid a price, handing the Conservatives a 'healthy majority', which he described as 'bad news for Norfolk'.
It was a mixed bag for the Liberal Democrats. They gained four, but lost three, ending up with one extra division at County Hall.
The results mean the political make-up of Norfolk County Council is now Conservatives 55, Labour 17, Liberal Democrats 11 and one independent.
Turnout was up to 34.4pc from 32.1pc in 2013.