Everything you need to know about the May 2019 local elections: North Norfolk edition

Toby the Norfolk Terrier outside the polling station at Cromer Community Centre.Picture: ANTONY KELL

Toby the Norfolk Terrier outside the polling station at Cromer Community Centre.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

What is the current make-up of the council?

NNDC leader Sarah Butikofer. Picture: NNDC

NNDC leader Sarah Butikofer. Picture: NNDC - Credit: Archant

North Norfolk District Council is the county's most finely balanced councils – thanks to a tumultuous period for the Conservative group.

The council is currently made up of 48 councillors, spread across 34 wards. Currently there are 19 Conservatives, 19 Liberal Democrats, nine Independents and one vacancy. However, following a boundary review, this time there will be fewer wards and seats.

It is currently Liberal Democrat-led, after group leader Sarah Butikofer successfully tabled a vote of no confidence in the then Tory leadership.

How many seats are up for grabs?

Following a review of the council's ward boundaries, it was decided that both the number of wards and councillors should be reduced. Therefore, this election 40 seats will be up for grabs across 32 wards.

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What are the main talking points?

The former North Norfolk District councillor, John Lee. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The former North Norfolk District councillor, John Lee. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

The political tide in the north of the county has proven choppy in recent times - with divisions not only across the council but within the parties themselves.

When the district last went to the polls for a full election, the Conservatives had a convincing hold on the council, winning 33 out of 48 seats in 2015.

However, in-fighting, division and disagreements – largely around controversial plans for a business park in Egmere – saw this number dwindle through resignations and defections of group members.

In November, the Liberal Democrat group tabled a vote of no confidence in the Tory leadership, which saw the Lib Dems snatch control of the council, with Mrs Butikofer becoming council leader and naming a cross-party cabinet.

The Conservative group will therefore see this campaign as the opportunity to re-establish control of the council - which they feel they lost without losing their mandate.

Conversely, though, the Liberal Democrats will see it as a chance to capitalise on the disarray within the Tory group and gain a mandate of their own.

Labour meanwhile, which currently has no seats on the council, will also be looking to capitalise on the political turmoil in the north, fielding candidates in almost every ward.

Who is leading each group and where are they standing?

The current council leader and Liberal Democrat group leader Sarah Butikofer is standing in the Beeston Regis and The Runtons ward. She faces competition from Conservative councillor Mike Knowles and Labour's Albert Winslade. In 2015 her majority was just 21 votes.

Conservative leader John Lee, who was ousted as leader of the council in November, is standing in the Suffield Park ward – a seat he has held for some 12 years. Previously, there has been two seats up for grabs in this ward, however, this time around just one is available.

Nigel Pearce was also elected in Suffield Park as a Conservative in May 2015, but has since defected to the Liberal Democrats. However, he will instead be standing for the Lib Dems in Roughton, not Suffield Park.

Where do I go to vote? Anything else I need to know?

The council's polling stations open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, May 2. Voters already registered to vote will have already be receiving polling cards, but those yet to register have until Friday, April 12, to do so.

Full details of where your nearest polling station can be found on North Norfolk District Council's website.

To register to vote visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

What if I can't get to a polling station?

Those who are unable to get to a polling station on May 2 have a range of options to still participate in the process.

You can either apply to vote either by post or by proxy via the council's website.

Who are the candidates?

Candidates for all wards are listed below. To find out more about who they area and what they stand for, see their submitted profiles at the following pages:

-Bacton, Beeston Regis and The Runtons, Briston, Coastal and Cromer Town candidates

-Erpingham, Gresham, Happisburgh, Hickling and Holt candidates -Hoveton and Tunstead, Lancaster North, Lancaster South, Mundesley and North Walsham East candidates

-North Walsham Market Cross, North Walsham West, Poppyland, Priory, Roughton and Sheringham North candidates

-Sheringham South, St Benet, Stalham, Stibbard, and Stody candidates -Suffield Park, The Raynhams, Trunch, Walsingham, Wells with Holkham and Worstead candidates Bacton Fiona Hall (L) Pauline Porter (I) Crispian Riley-Smith (C) Clive Stockton (LD) Beeston Regis and The Runtons Sarah Butikofer (LD) Mike Knowles (C) Albert Winslade (L) Briston Ruth Bartlett (L) Jenny English (C) Jolanda Stenton (LD) Coastal Michael Dalby (C) Steve Rush (L) Karen Ward (LD) Cromer Town Timothy Adams (LD) Mike Bossingham (G) Roger Cunnington (C) Scarlett Franklin (L) Phil Harris (L) John Lee Jnr (C) Andreas Yiasimi (LD) Erpingham Stephen Green (G) Norman Smith (I) Andrew Steed (L) John Toye (LD) Buffy Willcox (C) Gresham Pierre Butikofer (LD) Hugh Cabbell Manners (C) Stuart Jones (LD) Callum Ringer (I) Happisburgh Stephen Burke (L) Anne Filgate (G) Richard Price (C) Lucy Shires (LD) Hickling Harry Blathwayt (LD) Finlay Brisbane-Langsdon (L) Paul Rice (I) Jane Simpson (C) Holt Duncan Baker (C) Georgie Perry-Warnes (LD) Maggie Prior (C) Lyndon Swift (LD) Hoveton and Tunstead Nigel Dixon (C) Gerard Mancini-Boyle (C) Mary Seward (LD) Jean Thirtle (L) Sarah Tustin (LD) Lancaster North Christopher Cushing (C) Sean Mears (LD) Lancaster South Imogen Bruce (L) Annie Claussen-Reynolds (C) Jeremy Punchard (I) John Rest (I) Roy Reynolds (C) Mundesley Elizabeth Dixon (G) Wendy Fredericks (LD) Barry Smith (C) North Walsham East Jeremy Eales (C) Jeanne Heal (L) Paul Heinrich (LD) Mandy McKenna (L) Richard Sear (C) Eric Seward (LD) North Walsham Market Cross Jacqui Cross (L) Virginia Gay (LD) Fiona Turner (C) North Walsham West Elaine Addison (L) Nina Baker (C) Don Birch (LD) Helen Eales (C) Barry Hester (I) Nigel Lloyd (LD) Ray Mooney (L) Poppyland Eddie Anderson (G) Jill Aquarone (LD) Christine Collins (L) Angie Fitch-Tillett (I) Diana Irving (C) Priory Annie Green (I) Richard Kershaw (LD) Martin Langsdon (L) Dan Mann (C) Roughton Sue Arnold (C) Nigel Pearce (LD) Sheringham North Susan Brisbane (L) Brian Hannah (LD) Eddie Mayell (C) Sheringham South Penny Bevan Jones (LD) Colin Heinink (LD) Judy Oliver (C) Mark Rosen (L) Dick Shepherd (C) St Benet Dennis Simpson (C) Adam Varley (LD) Anna Walsh (L) Stalham Timothy Bartlett (L) Michael Filgate (G) Pauline Grove-Jones (LD) Marion Millership (LD) Jon Payne (C) Robert Stevens (C) Stibbard Vincent Fitzpatrick (C) Mike Pert (LD) Barbara Wyvill (G) Stody Andrew Brown (LD) Steven de la Salle (C) Edmund Wright (L) Suffield Park Bev Broadhead (L) John Lee (C) Emma Spagnola (LD) The Raynhams Nigel Housden (I) Becky Palmer (C) Sue Traverso (LD) Trunch David Attew (C) Grey Hayman (LD) Graham Jones (G) Mike Ward (L) Walsingham Tom Fitzpatrick (C) Simon Hester (I) Andraste Tiplady (LD) Wells with Holkham Peter Fisher (LD) Michael Gates (L) David Mack (C) Worstead Lynne Irons (G) Alistair Mackay (C) Saul Penfold (LD) Tom Smith (L)