Norwich City Council Elections 2021: Who should you vote for?
- Credit: EDP pics © 2007
A third of Norwich City Council seats were due to be up for election, although the death of Conservative candidate Eve Collishaw means the poll in Sewell ward has been postponed until June.
But a dozen places at City Hall are up for grabs, so we asked the leaders of the four main political parties to explain, in their own words, why their candidates deserve your vote.
Labour currently control the city council, with 27 seats. The Greens have eight and the Liberal Democrats three, with one vacancy.
Simon Jones (Norwich Conservative Federation chairman)
"The Conservatives have a common sense and achievable vision for a cleaner, green and more accessible city that provides quality public services and value for money for our residents.
"We’ve all seen in the media that Norwich is one of the best places to live in the UK. It’s a beautiful city, full of wonderful historic buildings and lovely green spaces.
"However, it’s also a city that has its issues: poor air quality, a shortage of affordable housing for our young people, limited social mobility and challenges to business prosperity that threatens jobs.
"We believe that a Conservative-led council can improve the well-being of our residents by delivering the economic and social development that is essential to safeguarding jobs and improving our spaces.
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"We believe in the concept of delivering a hand up, not hand out for our residents, encouraging the rich diversity of our communities and supporting the hard work of those who live in them.
"For too long the Labour council has been in charge of this city. It has been under-achieving throughout its tenure and the opposition from the Green and Liberal Democrat parties has been both weak and unconvincing: their views are too close to that of Labour to make them an effective opposition.
"It is time for change. Please use your vote at the upcoming council elections to allow us to represent all the residents of Norwich and to fight for the better vision we have for our wonderful city.
"Read more at www.norwichconservatives.com/manifesto"
Sandra Bogelein (Green Party group leader)
"I want a big change at City Hall, to include community groups and residents much more in decision making.
"Far too often, residents feel they are not listened to or asked about important issues in their area, like licences for venues, planning applications or how neighbourhoods could be made safer.
"The city council has to ramp up action on the climate emergency.
"For a long time, Green Party councillors have pushed for ambitious and innovative ways of meeting that challenge.
"Greens have put forward ways to improve biodiversity and create green corridors for wildlife.
"Parks and green spaces are part of our vision, along with better walking and cycling routes for getting around more easily.
"Getting Greens elected means supporting green jobs in emerging industries, such as retrofitting homes, so they use less energy, saving money and reducing carbon emissions.
"Greens want to tackle the serious drug issues we come across daily around the city centre.
"Addiction and misuse of drugs like heroin and crack cocaine need to be addressed.
"We need a change in approach to drug-related anti-social behaviour: services need to be provided to keep all residents safe.
"Our vision includes ambitious action on homelessness. More help to prevent people losing their homes, and providing stable homes and personalised support to homeless people with complex needs.
"Voting Green means taking opportunities to improve the local economy and make the most of Norwich.
"We want to go forward to better than normal after the pandemic, not just return to where we were."
Alan Waters (Labour group leader and leader of Norwich City Council)
"Norwich Labour’s manifesto is a powerful response to the impact of Covid -19.
"It builds on what we have done over the past year, using our services to keep people safe and supported; particularly our most vulnerable residents.
"Our manifesto is also about moving forward. We are working with our citywide partnership - ‘Norwich 2040’- developing a blueprint for recovery, that is already reaping benefits.
"Our five key pledges link together to address some of the most challenging problems we face as a city.
"Strengthen the local public services we all need after decade of cuts by successive Tory governments.
"Invest £70m in the Norwich economy: to provide new housing, jobs, skills & training opportunities. Tackling low pay and insecure work by expanding the ‘real living wage’ and a ‘good employers charter. Local support for those in financial hardship.
"Decent, secure homes: new council homes, upgraded properties and homes for sale. A ‘tenants charter’ providing protection and good standards for private renters.
"Tackling the climate emergency: investing in Green jobs, our award winning parks and boosting recycling and energy efficiency. A commitment to a radical transport plan including a clean air zone in the city centre; introduction of electric vehicle charging points.
"Community safety: working with the police to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. Investing in new mobile CCTV cameras and alley gates to protect residents’. Support action to tackle drug crime, domestic abuse, and the exploitation of vulnerable people.
"For a better future, vote Labour on May 6."
James Wright (Liberal Democrat group leader)
"Liberal Democrats are passionate about the power of local action by committed individuals to achieve results for communities, a belief borne out when we look at what communities across Norwich achieved during the pandemic.
"Our group on Norwich City Council has an impressive record of pushing the current administration to take better decisions.
"However, we need more voices on the council representing more areas to make those arguments louder.
"Residents have been at the heart of working in their communities, and we will use their know-how to welcome new ideas; being open to suggestions, wherever they originate from. Lib Dem councillors will never put ideas in the ‘too difficult’ box and dismiss out of hand.
"We will work to build a better Norwich post Covid-19, regenerating the city with tourism, small business, and with the built environment at the heart of regeneration.
"We will hold developers’ feet to the fire, ensuring they build the housing that Norwich needs to reduce an already-high waiting list for properties, and never again allowing developers to think they can get away with derisory levels of affordable housing as we saw with Anglia Square.
"We want to improve transport links, promoting better, greener bus provision across the city to encourage people to leave cars at home, as well as bettering our digital connections with the world, aspiring to make Norwich an international hub for digital innovation.
"It is time for a fresh approach at City Hall, and so I urge you to vote Liberal Democrat on May 6."