South Norfolk candidates seeking to win your vote on May 2
- Credit: EDP pics © 2011(01603) 772434
Voters will be able to have their say on the future of south Norfolk when they go to the polls in Norfolk County Council elections on Thursday, May 2.
This year, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is fielding candidates in all but two of the district's wards and could play a major role, while a number of Independents have also thrown their hats into the ring, with five candidates in three of the 12 areas in the south of the county.
In Wymondham, the battle is a seven-man race with current Conservative councillor Joe Mooney up against UKIP's Peter Colby, Independents Paco Davila Davila, Andy Gardiner and Mike Welton, as well as Labour's Kevin O'Grady and the Liberal Democrats' Paul Seeman.
Eyes will also be peeled as to the future of the Forehoe ward which saw former leader of the council Derek Murphy withdraw his candidacy earlier this year after he was found to have brought his office into disrepute after he asked his political assistant to claim it had not been Mr Murphy's idea to send an email to the BBC last April. His wife Janet had been due to fight for a seat in Clavering, but announced she would also not stand.
In both Wymondham and Hethersett, the building of new homes and the future direction of the town and village will be major election issues, but district-wide the coalition government nationally could have an impact on where voters place their crosses.
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Currently the Conservatives hold 58 seats on Norfolk County Council, the Liberal Democrats have nine, the Greens six and Labour five.
There is also one Independent member, one Independent Liberal Democrat, one UKIP county councillor, one non-aligned councillor and two vacancies.
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This year's elections also see Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates fielded in all south Norfolk wards, with Greens in seven.
The Conservatives say they will keep council tax down, invest in highways, support both the young and old and safeguard the county's libraries, while the Liberal Democrats have pledged to create a 'fair' and 'free-thinking' county council, equality for all local people and the elimination of poverty, preserve local services and to work with all levels of local government.
Labour says it will grow the Norfolk economy to create well-paid jobs, push for '21st-century' transport links and seek to improve education standards for children.