Labour leadership battle at Norwich City Council ends in triumph for Alan Waters

Alan Waters, the new leader of the Labour group at Norwich City Council.

Alan Waters, the new leader of the Labour group at Norwich City Council. - Credit: Archant

A new leader has been elected to take the helm of the Labour group at Norwich City Council, after a leadership contest was settled.

Current Labour leader Brenda Arthur is stepping down after a five-year stint as leader of the council and is due to become the Lord Mayor of Norwich later this month.

Labour rules dictate that individuals can only be council leaders for five years before making way. Mrs Arthur's impending departure meant Alan Waters and Mike Stonard, who represents Catton Grove, went head to head in a leadership battle last night to succeed her. The winner was Mr Waters and his deputy will be Gail Harris.

Mr Waters has been a city councillor for more than 20 years, having first won a place at City Hall in 1988. The former history and sociology teacher has already had a spell as City Hall leader, between 1993 and 1998.

More recently Mr Waters, who works for the Local Government Information Unit, has been deputy leader and cabinet member for resources. He represents Crome ward and was re-elected last week.

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The leader of the Labour group is likely to become the next leader of Norwich City Council. The council will meet on Tuesday, May 26 to elect a new leader.

Until that time Ms Arthur will remain as leader of the council, even though Mr Waters will be leader of her group.

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Last week's city council elections saw Labour strengthen their grip on City Hall. They took Wensum ward from the Greens to increase their number to 22.

The Greens have 14 councillors and the Liberal Democrats have three.

• Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email

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