Norfolk County Council Elections 2021: Spotlight on West Norfolk
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant
Independent councillors, given the in-roads they have made at borough council level in West Norfolk, go into the Norfolk County Council elections with optimism.
There are independents standing in eight of the 14 West Norfolk seats up for grabs when voters go to the polls to elect County Hall representatives on May 6.
Sandra Squire, who leads the Independent group at County Hall, is looking to defend the Marshland North seat she won when a Conservative in 2017.
Her competition comes from Conservative Julian Kirk, a West Norfolk borough councillor, and Labour's Matthew Hannay.
Alexandra Kemp, who quit Labour in 2014 and retained Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South as a non-aligned independent in 2017, is up against Labour's Adam Giles, a Norwich city councillor, and Conservative Liam Hind.
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A number of divisions are guaranteed new representation.
Conservative Harry Humphrey is not standing in Marshland South nor fellow party member Sheila Young in Gaywood North and Central.
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Graham Middleton, currently county councillor for Gayton and Nar Valley, will instead try to retain Mrs Young's seat for the Tories.
His opponents are Liberal Democrat David Mills, Labour's Helen Dalgliesh and UKIP's Jim Perkins. There were only 250 votes between the Conservatives and Labour in 2017.
Labour's David Collis, currently county councillor for King's Lynn North and Central, is switching his sights to Gayton and Nar Valley.
Mr Middleton took that seat for the Tories from UKIP with just over 61pc of the vote in 2017.
Mr Collis's opponents are Conservative Olivia Morris and Jim Moriarty, one of the independent West Norfolk borough councillors eyeing County Hall seats.
Tom Ryves (Feltwell), Chris Morley (Docking) and Alan Holmes (Fincham) are other independent borough councillors looking to win divisions at county level.
Mr Holmes is challenging West Norfolk Council Conservative leader Brian Long for the Fincham seat he has held since 2009, with Labour fielding Jo Smith.
Mr Long was a comfortable winner in 2017, almost 1,200 votes ahead of his nearest rival.
It was less comfortable for Conservative Thomas Smith in Gaywood South, when just 99 votes separated him from Labour last time.
Mr Smith's opponents are Labour's Micaela Bartrum, Lib Dem Rob Colwell and UKIP's Michael Stone.
Former West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney is the Conservative candidate in the vacant Freebridge Lynn ward (won by the Tories in 2017).
He is up against two sitting West Norfolk borough councillors in Labour's Francis Bone and Green Michael De Whalley.
One of the opponents hoping to take the North Coast division of Conservative Andrew Jamieson, the county council's cabinet member for finance, is John Crofts - the Lib Dem candidate for Norfolk's police and crime commissioner.
All 84 seats at Norfolk County Council are being contested.
The council's political make-up is Conservatives 52, Labour 16, Lib Dems nine, three Independents, one non-aligned independent and two vacancies.
Who are the candidates in King's Lynn and West Norfolk?
Clenchwarton & King`s Lynn South: Adam Giles (L), Liam Hind (C), * Alexandra Kemp (I)
Dersingham: Erika Ingrid Coward (LD), Stuart Dark * (C), George Lankester (L), Jordan Stokes (G)
Docking: Michelle Carter (L), Michael Chenery of Horsbrugh * (C), Chris Morley (I)
Downham Market: Eamonn McCusker (L), Josie Ratcliffe (LD), Jackie Westrop (I), Tony White * (C)
Feltwell: Neil Aldridge (I), Christopher Harvey (L). Tom Ryves (I), Martin Storey * (C)
Fincham: Alan Holmes (I), Brian Long * (C), Jo Smith (L)
Freebridge Lynn: Francis Bone (L), Nick Daubney (C), Michael De Whalley (G) (currently vacant)
Gayton and Nar Valley: David Collis (L), Jim Moriarty (I), Olivia Morris (C)
Gaywood North and Central: Helen Dalgliesh (L), Graham Middleton (C), David Mills (LD), Jim Perkins (UKIP)
Gaywood South: Micaela Bartrum (L), Rob Colwell (LD), Thomas Smith * (C), Michael Stone (UKIP)
Kings Lynn North and Central: Rob Archer (G), Lesley Bambridge (C), Gary Bramham (Reform), Richard Coward (LD), Wilfred Lambert (L)
Marshland North: Matthew Hannay (L), Julian Kirk (C), Sandra Squire * (I)
Marshland South: Chris Dawson (C), David Hodgkinson (L), Alastair Kent (G), Colin Rose (I)
North Coast: John Crofts (LD), Andrew Jamieson * (C), John Simmons (L)
* Denotes sitting councillor