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Hundreds of seats up for grabs as Norfolk and Suffolk gets ready for council elections

People in Norfolk will go to the polls on May 2. Pic: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

People in Norfolk will go to the polls on May 2. Pic: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Archant

The nation’s eyes might be on the voting in Westminster’s Brexit saga, but people in Norfolk and Suffolk will be the ones going to the polls in early May.

People will be able to pick which councillors represent them on local city, borough and district councils, which make key decisions on issues such as planning, housing, waste collection and environmental health.

There are all-out elections in Breckland, Broadland, North Norfolk, South Norfolk and West Norfolk, which elect all their councillors every four years.

And recent changes mean that in Norwich and Great Yarmouth, there are also all-out elections, where every council seat will be up for grabs,

Great Yarmouth previously elected by thirds, which meant a third of councillors were elected every year over a four year cycle, with no elections in the fourth year.

But, in 2017, the council agreed to change to all-out elections every four years, after almost 70pc of people voted for the change in a referendum. Next month will be the first election under the new system, with all 39 councillors, representing 17 wards, up for election.

And, a local boundary shake-up in Norwich means there will also be an all-out election at the city council, which usually operates under the thirds system. It means people will be able to vote for all three councillors in each of the 13 wards.

In Suffolk, voters will also be able to vote for the first time to decide who represents them on East Suffolk Council, which has been created after the abolition of Waveney and Suffolk Coastal councils.

The details of the people nominated to stand in all the elections will be published on the afternoon of Thursday, April 4.

The deadline to register to vote in the elections is Friday, April 12, with a deadline of Monday, April 15 to register for a postal vote.

The polls will open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, May 2. However people looking forward to a late night of drama, as results come in, will be disappointed - the counts are not taking place until the next day.

Breckland, Broadland, South Norfolk, West Norfolk and Great Yarmouth councils are currently Conservative-controlled. Norwich is Labour-run and North Norfolk is under no overall control, but with a Liberal Democrat leader.

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