City council elections: Focus on Sewell, Thorpe Hamlet and Town Close
The election in Thorpe Hamlet will be a real test of political temperature there following the shock defection of the leader of the Green group at Norfolk County Council just before Christmas.
The Greens were rocked by Phil Hardy’s defection to the Conservatives, so it will be interesting to see how the voters will react to that when it comes to city council elections.
Former Lord Mayor Jeremy Hooke is hoping to make a return for the Liberal Democrats, having lost his seat last May, while the Greens, who also hold the other two seats in Thorpe Hamlet, will be looking to Ben Price to retain the third for the party.
Labour, who finished second last year, are looking to Tony Waring for success, while the Conservatives have put Stefan Rose forward as their candidate.
The Greens’ deputy leader Samir Jeraj is not seeking re-election in Town Close, so Paul Neale will attempt to retain the seat for them.
Meanwhile, their former Mancroft ward councillor Howard Jago is looking to make a return via Sewell ward, where the party came second last year.
However, Labour will fancy their chances of getting their candidate Kevin Barker elected there, with former Lord Mayor Mick Banham, the current holder of the seat for the party, not standing again.
Ahead of these elections (and the two by-elections in Catton Grove and Wensum triggered by resignations), the make-up of the city council was Labour (18), Green Party (15), Liberal Democrats (4), Conservatives (2).
Although no party has overall control, Labour run the council as a minority administration.