Counting in Norwich City Council election underway


- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2010

Counting has started in the Norwich City Council election count.

Norwich went to the polls yesterday, with candidates standing in all 13 wards.

There is also an extra seat available in University ward, triggered by the resignation of Labour's Sarah Granville.

City Hall is currently controlled by Labour, who have 20 seats.

The Greens have 15 and the Liberal Democrats three.

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The Conservatives will be looking to get a toe hold back at City Hall, while the UK Independence, buoyed by its success in last year's Norfolk County Council elections, will be keen to make an impact.

Newcomers Left Unity, who say they are the anti-austerity party are also standing two candidates.

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The verification process was done this morning.

That involves counting the total number of ballot papers in each box.

The ballot papers need to be sorted into separate bundles for the European Parliament election and the city council elections.

The European count is not until Sunday night, but the city council count will be this afternoon.

• The Conservatives have ruled out a deal with the UK Independence Party at Norfolk County Council.

UKIP had approached the Conservative group over a 'common understanding' which would enable the Tories to take control of County Hall at next week's annual general meeting.

UKIP currently support the Labour/Liberal Democrat administration, but an email sent by Conservative deputy leader Ian Mackie revealed they could be prepared to switch sides.

The email outlined who would occupy a number of posts if a deal was agreed.

The leader of the council would be a Conservative, while the Tories would also have chairman positions on policy and resources, communities, adult services and the economic development committee. They would hold vice-chairman posts in children's services and adult services.

The email said UKIP leader Toby Coke would become chairman of the environment, development and transport committee, with Liberal Democrat James Joyce as chairman of children's services.

Mr Mackie wrote in the email: 'This would be a common understanding, not a formal Con/UKIP/Lib coalition.'

However, Liberal Democrat leader Marie Strong had issued a statement distancing her party from the contents of that email.

And on Thursday the Tories revealed the Conservatives had rejected the UKIP deal, after a group meeting.

Conservative group leader Tom FitzPatrick said he had told the group when he was elected to the leadership he would not seek a deal or an understanding with other parties, but that to regain a working majority on the council this must be done at the ballot box.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr FitzPatrick said, 'The Conservative Group remains committed to the principles outlined in the manifesto from our election 'If UKIP want to see a change away from the direction that has been driven by the Rainbow Alliance they can vote for Conservative candidates on Tuesday''

The council meets on Tuesday to pick a leader and chairs of various committees, following a shake up in the way the council makes decisions.

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