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Blur drummer among those vying to become a county councillor in Norfolk in next month's elections

PUBLISHED: 19:01 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:46 06 April 2017

Dave Rowntree, formerly from Blur, has been elected to University division in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Dave Rowntree, formerly from Blur, has been elected to University division in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant copyright 2011

The drummer with the chart-topping band Blur is among the candidates hoping to be elected to Norfolk County Council in next month's elections.

Former UKIP group leader Toby Coke is not standing in next month's Norfolk County Council elections. Picture: Matthew Usher.Former UKIP group leader Toby Coke is not standing in next month's Norfolk County Council elections. Picture: Matthew Usher.

There are all out elections at County Hall on May 4, with all 84 seats up for grabs.

The Conservatives are currently in control at the county council, having taken the authority back from the Labour/Liberal Democrat/UKIP rainbow alliance last May.

One of the more unusual names on the list is that of Blur drummer David Rowntree. He is standing for Labour in Norwich’s University ward, in place of Bert Bremner.

Mr Rowntree previously vied to become Labour’s parliamentary candidate in the 2015 general election for Norwich South - but lost out to Clive Lewis, who subsequently took the seat from the Liberal Democrats.

He will be up against Toby Bennett (Lib Dems), Rob Lowe (UKIP), Lewis Martin (Green Party) and Gary Walsh (Conservative) in a ward where the student vote can prove crucial.

Current group leaders Cliff Jordan (Conservative). George Nobbs (Labour) and Marie Strong (Liberal Democrat) are all standing again in their divisions.

But former UKIP leader Toby Coke, who resigned from the party last month, had already said he would not be standing again in Gayton & Nar Valley. Denis Crawford, who replaced him as the group’s leader is standing.

And UKIP’s Rex-Parkinson Hare (Yarmouth Nelson and Southtown), Stephen Agnew (Marshland North) and Paul Gilmour (Dereham South) are all stepping aside - four years after UKIP’s big breakthrough when they took 14 seats at County Hall.

Roger Smith, the chairman of Norfolk County Council's children's services committee is not standing in next month's elections. Photo: Bill SmithRoger Smith, the chairman of Norfolk County Council's children's services committee is not standing in next month's elections. Photo: Bill Smith

The party’s Michael Baker, who currently represents Holt is standing in South Smallburgh instead.

Other notable names who are not standing this time include: Conservative Roger Smith, chairman of the council’s children’s services committee, who represents Henstead division; former Conservative Great Yarmouth MP Michael Carttiss (West Flegg); Conservative Alec Byrne (Attleborough), Conservative Ian Monson (The Brecks); Labour’s Sue Whitaker (Norwich’s Lakenham division) and Lib Dem duo Brian Hannah (Sheringham) and James Joyce (Reepham).

None of the three current Green county councillors, group leader Richard Bearman (Mancroft), Andrew Boswell (Nelson) or Elizabeth Morgan (Wensum) are standing this time.

Independent Richard Bird, who represents North Coast and had sat as part of the UKIP and Independent group, is also not standing. Nor is former Conservative turned non-aligned John Dobson (Dersingham).

But a former councillor looking to return is Deborah Gihawi. The former Labour councillor is standing as an independent in her old Norwich Mile Cross division. She will be up against Alex Jackson-Dennis (Conservative). David Rowell (UKIP), the current incumbent Chrissie Rumsby (Labour), Lisa Shaw (Green) and Magda Siwiec (Lib Dems).

The current political makeup of the council is: 42 Conservative, 14 Labour, 11 UKIP and Independent, 10 Liberal Democrat, three Green, three Non-aligned, and one vacancy.

Norfolk people have just seven days left to register to vote for the elections.

Norfolk County Council is urging residents to make sure they’re registered by Thursday, April 13, otherwise they will not be eligible to vote.

The county council has responsibility for services such as adult social services, education, roads, waste disposal, fire and rescue, trading standards and libraries.

To register to vote residents must apply to their district, borough or city council to be included on the electoral register by clicking here.

A full list of candidates is available here.

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