Norwich City Council elections: List of candidates and why they deserve your vote
PUBLISHED: 11:05 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:07 02 May 2018
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Norwich goes to the polls on Thursday for the city council elections. DAN GRIMMER asks representatives of the four main political groups why their party deserves your vote.
Andrew Wiltshire, Conservative spokesman for Norwich South: “Voting in the elections next week is very important, as it will decide who is in charge at City Hall for the next year.
“It will dictate their priorities for our community and determine who at City Hall will hold the decision-makers to account.
“Councillors have the chance to be leaders in our communities, to tackle issues that need someone to take a stand; to talk common-sense and to show the kind of community-activism that we look for in our leaders.
“Not all solutions to the issues in our communities need more money - many of them need someone to see the problem, listen to local people, and to take the problem up with those making decisions.
“And that’s what Norwich Conservative candidates will to do: if elected, each of our candidates we will be a strong, local voice for you at City Hall – a voice for common sense and for practical solutions.
“We know how hard people are working in our city and don’t take for granted the support that many of our community groups, charities and individuals provide – but sometimes need themselves.
“We believe that people should be empowered to help themselves wherever that’s possible.
“There are three areas that we are giving particular focus and will continue to take forward if elected this week:
“We will work to reduce crime, and tackle antisocial behaviour, particularly graffiti, drug abuse and sex work.
“We know the damaging effect that antisocial behaviour and crime can have in our communities and will work with you and our police force to put a stop to it.
“We will work to better protect our environment and improve air quality. Recycling rates have fallen in the city; and we believe that not enough is being done to discourage single use plastics and deal with the pollution that is damaging Norwich’s air quality.
“We will work to ensure everyone has a good home and we are committed to making development and redevelopment work for local people.
“By working with developers and our communities, we have the best chance of shaping our communities for the future.”
Martin Schmierer, Green group leader at Norwich City Council: “Across the country, Green Party councillors make a difference wherever we are elected.
“From the Green councillor in Sheffield whose Labour colleagues tried to have her sent to prison for protesting against tree-felling, to the Greens in London standing with residents against estate demolition, a Green voice on your council means a voice for residents, social justice and safer, cleaner cities.
“In Norwich, as the main opposition, we have successfully pushed the Labour council to improve its environmental strategy, build energy-efficient new social housing, introduce a policy to control the spread of new bars and clubs on Prince of Wales Road, create an ‘access charter’ setting out how the council will work with disabled people when street changes are planned, and take the dangers of air pollution more seriously.
“Green councillors have supported now-thriving community projects like Grapes Hill Community Garden, Wensum Sports Centre and Friends of Train Wood; and helped countless residents have their say on planning applications.
“Having Greens on your council means bad decisions will not go unchallenged – a danger when one party has too much power.
“We have challenged the Labour council on its failure to make developers provide enough affordable housing, its support for the costly and destructive Northern Distributor Road, and called for more action to deliver more efficient public transport.
“We listen to your concerns. And because – unlike other parties – Green councillors don’t have to follow a party line, each of us is free to vote according to our residents’ needs.
“Your Green councillors will work for better public transport; safe, accessible green spaces protected from development; a thriving local economy where independent businesses and new ideas can flourish; a compulsory licensing scheme for shared houses, to ensure decent living conditions; stronger policies on design of new developments, including maximum building heights; and affordable, energy-efficient housing.
“A vote for the Green Party will help keep a strong opposition on the council, and help us keep working for a thriving city with clean air, safe streets and a real voice for local people.”
Alan Waters, leader of the Labour group at City Hall: “Elections for the city council take place three years out of every four.
“So, our Labour manifesto for the local elections on May 3 is not written on a clean sheet of paper.
“What we are asking on Thursday is support to continue the policies and priorities we have developed as a Labour administration over a number of years.
“Our manifesto has to take account of years of “austerity” (cuts) started by the Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition between 2010 -2015 and Conservative governments since 2015.
“The city council has lost 40pc of its funding in the last eight years.
“Everyone will now be familiar with the unfolding story of the disgraceful and inhuman treatment of British citizens of the ‘Windrush generation’.
“A ‘hostile environment’ has also been used by Conservative governments to justify cuts that damage the lives of many people in Norwich.
“The rapid rise in food banks, cuts to working tax credits for those on low wages, hardship for those with disabilities, loss of rights at work and access to legal aid are just a few of many examples.
“Our manifesto is a response to these dismal policies and argues for a strong, active, well-funded local government to show there is a better alternative.
“Despite cuts in our funding we have a track record of investment and practical improvements across the city and for every community in Norwich.
“It includes building much needed homes with major developments at Bowthorpe and across city centre sites; investing in our parks and open spaces.
“Successfully bidding for over £13 million for regeneration schemes that will create new jobs, training opportunities, homes and businesses.
“Tackling inequality through campaigning for the Living Wage and an end to low pay and job insecurity. Advice services designed to ensure people get the help they need and expanding support to local community networks.
“Labour offers strong experience at a time of great uncertainty and the ambition to deliver, with its partners, a city that works to the benefit all its citizens.
“Vote Labour on May 3.”
James Wright, leader of the city council’s Liberal Democrat group: “To be a Liberal Democrat is to believe passionately in the power of local action by committed individuals to achieve results for communities.
“Across the country our councillors are the ones embedded in those communities giving people a voice.
“More than any other party we believe in local solutions to local problems and that the closer and more engaged residents are to the decision-making process the better.
“Our group on Norwich City Council has a proud 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.
“Our priorities for Norwich include:
“Closing loopholes to ensure construction companies cannot sit on prime locations and instead build affordable homes that are urgently needed for a rapidly growing population.
“Fighting for improved road safety, including standing with residents against removing traffic lights and creating local speed watch teams.
“Standing up for local services, ensuring a good bus service to key areas, that pharmacies stay open and that life-saving defibrillators are available in more locations.
“Ensuring that when the vulnerable in our fine city need help, they can find it, from action on problem gambling to homeless services.
“Providing housing that all Norwich residents can be proud of, and that is adaptive to the tenants needs – whatever their stage of life.
“However, local elections can never be entirely divorced from the national political scene.
“That scene is still dominated by the ticking clock to Brexit and the truth is that with both Labour and the Tories wedded to a hard Brexit every vote for them will be seen by Theresa May as a green light to crash out of the EU, damaging our economy and putting into uncertainty the future of many Norwich EU residents.
“Never forget that our city voted remain and only the Lib Dems are unequivocally in favour of the people getting their say on the terms of the final Brexit deal.”
Who is standing in the Norwich City Council elections?
A third of Norwich City Council’s seats - 13 of 39 - are up for election. Polling day is tomorrow, with the count taking place on Friday.
These are the candidates:
BOWTHORPE: Jean Bishop (G); Oliver Healey (LD); Sue Sands (L); Andrew Wiltshire (C)
CATTON GROVE: Henry Newton (C); Tony Park (G); Mike Stonard (L); Leigh Tooke (LD)
CROME: Judith Ford (G); Tom Sherman (C); Marion Maxwell (L); Samuel Neal (LD)
EATON: Samantha England (C); Ben Hardie (L); Jane Saunders (G); James Wright (LD)
LAKENHAM: Emily Cutler (LD); Eric Masters (C); Peter Offord (G); Rachel Trevor (L)
MANCROFT: Sandra Bogelein (G); Iain Gwynn (C); Jo Smith (L); Sarah Tustin (LD)
MILE CROSS: Richard Edwards (I); John Fisher (C); Adrian Holmes (G); Jacob Huntley (L); Chris Thomas (LD)
NELSON: Reece Durrant (C); David Fairbairn (LD); Emma Hampton (L); Paul Neale (G)
SEWELL: Neil Hardman (LD); Tessa Jackson (C); Cami Ouzerdine (G); Matthew Packer (L)
THORPE HAMLET: Gordon Dean (LD); Lesley Grahame (G); Alex Jackson-Dennis (C); Cavan Stewart (L)
TOWN CLOSE: Nick Caistor (G); Mary Chacksfield (C); Silvia Schmidtova (LD); Ian Stutely (L)
UNIVERSITY: Syed Ahmod (C); Connor Bell (LD); Matthew Fulton-McAlister (L); Claire Stephenson (G)
WENSUM: Erin Fulton-McAlister (L); Thomas Holloway (G); Thomas Sheppard (C); David Thomas (LD)
Key: C – Conservative; G – Green Party; I – Independent; L – Labour; LD – Liberal Democrat