UPDATE FULL RESULT: Tories hold West Norfolk as Labour becomes main opposition party
PUBLISHED: 20:48 06 May 2011 | UPDATED: 09:37 07 May 2011
Conservatives hold onto West Norfolk council. But Labour and anti-incinerator candidates gain seats from the ruling Tories.
Before the polls opened on Thursday, the Tories held 52 of the 62 seats on the council. Labour and the Lib Dems occupied four apiece, while one was held by an independent and one stood vacant following the death of Richard Searle.
While the Conservatives still control the council with 42 seats, a gain of nine seats to 13 saw Labour promoted to main opposition party.
Lib Dems and Independents now hold three apiece. Counting began shortly after lunchtime at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange.
One of the first wards to be declared was Airfield, where Lori Allen became the first Green ever to be elected onto the council.
Elsewhere 15 Independents were standing as anti-incinerator candidates, targeting wards held by Conservative “twin hatters”, who sit on both borough and county councils.
In another early declaration, Tories Harry Humphrey and Chris Crofts held Emneth and Outwell against Kevin Martin and Sally Rust.
In West Winch, Independent June Leamon was elected, but in Mershe Lande the council’s deputy leader Brian Long held his seat against an Independent challenge.
Wiggenhall saw Independent Marcus Hopkins elected, while Mike Tilbury - Independent long before the word incinerator ever entered local politics - was also returned to Valley Hill.
Labour held onto the Fairstead and gained a seat in Gaywood Chase.
Before the polls opened yesterday, both Labour and the Liberal Democrats occupied four seats apiece on the council, where Conservatives held 52 out of 62 seats.
A few gains for Labour - fielding an increased number of candidates this time around - would make the party the effective opposition on the council.
John Collop, elected for labour in Gaywood Chase alongside his wife Sandra, said: “We’re coming back nicely, we’re expecting to win seats and there’s still some more out there we can win.
“We need a credible opposition on the council - even if it’s a mix of parties.”
Labour gained a seat in Hunstanton, with the election of Richard Bird, while Jason Law - the council’s former cabinet member for regeneration - failed to get re-elected.
Former council leader and outspoken critic of the incinerator John Dobson was another high-profile casualty of the afternoon, coming third in a close-fought contest in Dersingham.
Counting stopped just after 4pm to allow the count in the Alternative Vote referendum to begin.
The AV vote in West Norfolk was 11,652 in favour and 35,996 against.
Results in full:
Airfield: LORI ALLEN (Green) 386, Clive Bush (Ind) 283, John Clarke (Lab) 354, MICHAEL HOWLAND (Con) 782.
Brancaster: TOM DE WINTON (Con).
Burnham: Christopher Cook (Lab) 208, GARRY SANDELL (Con) 556.
Denton: Matthew Fulton (Lab) 520, ADRIAN LAWRENCE (Con) 1279, Gwen Mansfield (Lab) 451, Margaret McGann (Lab) 491, MICK PEAKE (Con) 1191, Martin Storey (Con) 1343.
Dersingham: TONY BUBB (Lib Dem) 995, JUDITH COLLINGHAM (Con) 939, John Dobson (Con) 710 , Kate Sayer (Lib Dem) 676.
Docking: ANDREW MORRISON (Con).
Downham Old Town: KATHY MELLISH (Con) 475, Peter Smith (Lab) 246.
East Downham: Heather Fouracre (Lab) 312, TONY LOVETT (Con) 484.
Emneth with Outwell: CHRIS CROFTS (Con) 733, HARRY HUMPHREY (Con) 690, Kevin Martin (Ind) 254, Sally Rust (Ind) 341.
Fairstead: Richard Fulcher (Con) 407, IAN GOURLAY (Lab) 521, Carolyn Taylor (Con) 389, MARGARET WILKINSON (Lab) 560.
Gayton: AlISTAIR BEALES (Con) 587, John Burns (Lab) 203, Nigel Walker (Green) 96.
Gaywood Chase: JOHN COLLOP (Lab) 505, SANDRA COLLOP (Lab) 471, Ivan Goodson (Con) 349, Geraldine Jacka (Con) 392, Colin Sayer (Lib Dem) 188, Michael Stone (UKIP) 141, Ian Swinton (Lib Dem) 221.
Gaywood North Bank: Ashley Collop (Lab) 693, Vicky Fairweather (Green) 551, Joy Franklin (Ind) 513, MICHAEL LANGWADE (Con) 849, Ian Pritchard (Lab) 636, LAURENCE SCOTT (Lab) 755, MARK SHORTING (Con) 813, Clifford Walters (Con) 751.
Grimston: Michael De Whalley (Green) 485, MICHAEL PITCHER (Con) 488.
Heacham: COLIN MANNING (Con) 1007, Emilia Rust (Lab) 550, Holly Rust (Lab) 538, STEPH SMEATON (Con) 1181.
Hilgay with Denver: Jeremy Annone (Lab) 118, Graham Carter (Ind) 338, TONY WHITE (Con) 372.
Hunstanton: Stuart Bagnall (Lab) 742, PAUL BEAL (Con) 1106, RICHARD BIRD (Lab) 974, Brian Devlin (Lab) 668, Jason Law (Con) 876, Andrew Murray (Ind) 794, LIZ WATSON (Con) 919.
Mershe Lande: BRIAN LONG (Con) 498, Paul McGhee (Ind) 211.
North Downham: Jonathan Toye (Lab) 255, GEOFFREY WAREHAM (Con) 489.
North Lynn: DAVID COLLIS (Lab) 620, Peter Lagoda (Con) 286, Michael Pratt (Con) 223, ANDY TYLER (Lab) 511.
North Wootton: Lorraine Howman (Lab) 407, LORD GREVILLE HOWARD (Con) 591.
Old Gaywood: Bill Daws (Con) 250, GARY HOWMAN (Lab) 335.
Priory: Peter Gidney (Con) 374, JIM MORIARTY (Lab) 637.
Rudham: MICHAEL CHENERY (Con) 611, Mike Knights (Ind) 393.
Snettisham: ZIPHA CHRISTOPHER (Con) 969, DAVID JOHNSON (Con) 1113, Richard Pennington (Lab) 494.
St Lawrence: BARRY AYRES (Con) 514, Richard Jarvis (Ind) 324.
St Margarets with St Nicholas: Rob Archer (Green) 264, MARK BACK (Lab) 448, LESLEY BAMBRIDGE (Con) 418, Alexandra Kemp (Lab) 368, Julian Litten (Ind) 263, Jan Woning (Con) 377.
South and West Lynn: Jonathan Burr (Green) 224, Geoff Daniell (Con) 334, Val Daniell (Con) 302, CHARLES JOYCE (Lab) 546, GARY MCGUINNESS (Lab) 467.
South Downham: Julie Coulter (Lab) 267, DON TYLER (Con) 726.
South Wootton: Nick Daubney (Con) 1261, Elizabeth Nockolds (Con) 1257, Chris Penston (Lab) 458, Claire Penston (Lab) 488.
Spellowfields: PETER COUSINS (Con) 456, DAVID HARWOOD (Con) 524, Charles Johnson (Ind) 429, Paul Moore (Ind) 450, Stephanie Munden (Lab) 347.
Springwood: Elizabeth Barclay (Con) 201, JOHN LOVELESS (Lib Dem) 325, Jo Rust (Lab) 215.
Upwell and Delph: Roger Parnell (Lab) 351, DAVID POPE (Con) 854, Ted Skelton (Lab) 221, VIVIENNE SPIKINGS (Con) 980.
Valley Hill: Gary Hart (Con) 238, MIKE TILBURY (Ind) 766.
Walpole: Alan Munden (Lab) 234, TONY WRIGHT (Con) 436.
Walton: ROY GROOM (Springwood: Elizabeth Barclay (Con) 201, JOHN LOVELESS (Lib Dem) 325, Jo Rust (Lab) 215.
Watlington: Toby Brown (Lab) 135, IAN MACK (Lib Dem) 635.
West Winch: PAUL FOSTER (Con) 923, JUNE LEAMON (Ind) 878, Susie Neil (Ind) 608, Gill Sergeant (Con) 771.
Wiggenhall: Ashley Collins (Lab) 183, MARCUS HOPKINS (Ind) 361, Richard Portham (Con) 276.
Wimbotsham with Fincham: June Kellingray (Lab) 296, TREVOR MANLEY (Con) 599.
Wissey: Paula Kellingray (Lab) 192, Christopher MacKinnon (Lib Dem) 45, John Nicholas-Letch (Ind) 191, COLIN SAMPSON (Con) 459.