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Norwich City Council elections: Spotlight on Catton Grove, Mancroft, Mile Cross and Sewell.

PUBLISHED: 15:09 02 May 2011 | UPDATED: 15:27 02 May 2011

Families in Norwich will go to the polls on Thursday.

Families in Norwich will go to the polls on Thursday.

Archant

Norwich people go to the polls this week to elect 13 councillors to represent them on the city council. Dan Grimmer reports on the final four wards - Catton Grove, Mancroft, Mile Cross and Sewell.

The Conservatives were dealt a major blow in last September’s Norwich City Council elections when they lost Bowthorpe to Labour and they will be determined not to allow Catton Grove to go the same way.

It’s a ward where the Tories currently hold two of the three seats and Labour one.

Experienced former Lord Mayor Eve Collishaw won with a 126 majority when she last defended the seat in 2007.

She will be aiming to ensure the score remains 2-1 to the blues by seeing off the challenge of Labour’s Paul Kendrick.

The Greens will be aiming to stay ahead of Labour in Mancroft ward, where they currently hold all three seats.

But current Lord Mayor Tom Dylan, who was elected with a majority of 340 in 2007, is not standing this time, so it falls to Amy Stammers to try to retain the seat for the Greens.

Her closest challenger is likely to be Labour’s Marion Maxwell, who finished 140 votes behind Green Graeme Gee last September.

She has been working hard to improve on that showing this time around.

With Labour leader Steve Morphew standing down at these elections, Labour’s Mile Cross candidate is former sheriff Ralph Gayton.

Lib Dem candidate Carl Mayhew will be hoping his previous stint as a city councillor for the ward will stand him in good stead.

He finished second to Labour’s Viv Thomas in last September’s elections, but it’s worth remembering that in 2008’s elections for the ward it was the Conservatives, not the Lib Dems, who finished in second spot, so it will be interesting to see if the Lib Dem vote holds up here.

In Sewell ward, the Greens have not been too far adrift of Labour in the past two elections.

Megan Lewis will be aiming for a good result, but Labour will be hoping Julie Brociek-Coulton, who triumphed with a 358 majority in 2007, can earn enough votes to see off her opponents.

A local issue in the ward which has attracted some controversy is the proposed hostel for homeless men and ex-offenders in Dibden Road. UK Independence Party candidate Glenn Tingle says many are opposed to the centre, although the chief executive of the St Edmund’s Society, the charity which would run the 16-bedroom and five flat home, has stressed only “low-risk” offenders would be housed there.

The current make up of the city council is Labour 16, Green 14, Liberal Democrats five and Conservatives four. Of the wards up for grabs, five are currently held by Labour, four by the Greens, two by the Conservatives and two by the Lib Dems.

Catton Grove candidates

Evelyn COLLISHAW (Conservative)

“I was born in Norwich and live locally on Constitution Hill. I ran a business in Norwich for many years and am now retired. I am a keen dog-walker and recently enjoyed being Lord Mayor of Norwich. As a councillor, the best part of my job is meeting local people and helping to sort out their issues and concerns. With the way that Labour run City Hall, it isn’t always easy but I enjoy it. I strongly support the work of our local Sure Start Centre and will continue to back its work. We work hard with our police to clamp down on crime and anti-social behaviour; nobody can accuse us of not being tough on crime! I am glad that power is being given to the city council to protect good tenants but also deal with those who are not considerate and good neighbours.”

Lee COZENS (Green Party)

Lee is passionate about protecting our wildlife and environment, and left behind her teaching career in 2000 for a career in conservation. Having lived in Norwich since 1993, she took her PGCE at the UEA, and has worked as a ranger for the Broads Authority, as well as on the people engagement team at the RSPB eastern regional office.

She now works as a ranger at Whitlingham Country Park and lives with her husband and three year old son.

Paul KENDRICK (Labour)

“As a father of three teenagers, I want to make sure the next generation has homes, jobs and training or education they can afford. I am a council tenant and member of the City Wide Board that represents council tenants’ interests. I want to continue the improvements to housing management services to tenants and to make sure that residents of every type of tenure have communities they can be proud to live in. If elected, I hope to serve on the planning committee to help ensure the city has the facilities and quality environment to go along with the homes and jobs we are so desperate for. I am not a professional politician, so I hope there will still be times for watching football and military history as well as doing a good job for Catton Grove.”

Chris THOMAS (Liberal Democrats)

“I joined the Liberal Party in 1980 and was a city councillor between 1992 and 2007. I work as a customer advisor in Barclays Bank in Norwich and live in Drayton Road. In my spare time I enjoy many hobbies, including organising the Norwich Beer Festival. I am standing because I feel local residents are being let down by the city council. The government’s 2009 ‘One Place’ assessment rated the Labour-run Norwich City Council as the worst performing council in Norfolk.

“In Catton Grove I can really see on a day-to-day basis how local residents have been neglected by Labour. “This poor provision of service and the problems over the Connaught contract have motivated me to stand and offer an alternative to Labour incompetence at City Hall. Norwich residents deserve better and I think the Liberal Democrats can offer them an alternative and will push forward improvements in the city.”

Paul WILLIAMS (UK Independence Party)

Mancroft candidates

Marion MAXWELL (Labour)

“I have lived in Mancroft Ward for the last 25 years. I led the campaign to get high street money lenders to display substantial debt advice and credit union information in their branches; measures which are now being adopted nationally.

“The community campaign I organised has also resulted in the lights staying on in the city centre. Following the attacks on pets, I am now working with local residents to get dog owners to keep their dogs on leads around Norwich.

“It important to maintain our police teams, NHS services; to improve the quality of life for older people, disabled and the large visually impaired community in Mancroft ward; and build on the success of the popular city wide recycling scheme.”

Simon NOBBS (Liberal Democrats)

“I work as an accountant in the city. I have also been working for the community in Mancroft for many years. I am a former councillor for our area. Some of my main priorities for Mancroft include: ensuring the council is active in dealing with anti-social behaviour; supporting more youth facilities and campaigning to retain green spaces for the community’s benefit. With major new developments coming through we need to make sure that plans are sustainable and improve the quality of the environment for all residents. I know that Labour have failed Norwich with their mismanagement of the council’s housing department, and failed Britain with the public debt they built up. It is now time for change.”

Stefan ROSE (Conservative)

Stefan is a graduate from the University of East Anglia and lives and works in Norwich. He is a familiar face to many people who shop and work in the Unthank Road area and has stood twice for the Conservatives before. Stefan knows how important business is to the city and is standing for Mancroft because he believes he can get the right balance between business and tourism and the rights of the people who call the city centre home. Stefan believes Labour at City Hall has taxed too much and shown itself incapable of running local public services, while the Lib Dems and Greens have been a weak and ineffective opposition, abstaining on key votes, including the one that put Labour back in charge at City Hall and on the past few tax rises. He said only the Conservatives opposed Labour’s unitary project.

Amy STAMMERS (Green Party)

Amy is an advocate of green politics and researching local policy options. She enjoys meeting and talking to people. Amy is particularly interested in city regeneration and development, promotion of independent business and job creation, waste reduction and better access for cyclists and the elderly into the city as well as youth inclusion schemes. Amy grew up in Norfolk and is a graduate of law and international development. During the 2010-11 civic year she has been working alongside councillor Tom Dylan as the Lord Mayor’s consort, and has also recently been appointed as a trustee of the Norwich Charitable Trusts. She also works part time for The Grain Brewery.

Mile Cross candidates

Richard CROOKS (UK Independence Party)

Ben DUFFY (Green Party)

Ben is an active local Green Party co-ordinator and has enjoyed working with Green city councillors to help address various concerns raised by residents. He is passionate about increasing public participation in council decision-making, and the importance of good community centres and facilities, such as the Norman Centre where he plays table-tennis. He is a strong supporter of fair trade initiatives and also of the many independent local businesses, which he believes Norwich is lucky to have – both for the character they give to the city and the contribution which they make to a fairer and healthier economy. In past years Ben has worked for a Norwich-based NGO/charity, Banana Link, which campaigns for a fairer and sustainable fruit trade.

Ralph GAYTON (Labour)

“As a long standing local resident I understand our problems and challenges. As a former sheriff of Norwich I have had the honour to play a role on behalf of the city and I hope to use my experience to work with you and speak on your behalf. The challenges Mile Cross ward faces vary between the different parts. I presented a 600 signature petition to the county council opposing street lights switch-offs, won earlier action on rat-running for Patteson, Buxton, Eade and Alma roads and, with the support of local residents, I am tackling the owners of the derelict Kings Arms pub site on Mile Cross Road. As your councillor I will prioritise tackling housing problems and fight for jobs and a better deal for our area.”

Carl MAYHEW (Liberal Democrats)

“I live in Mile Cross with my partner Mary and I represented the ward as a city councillor until 2008. I was born and brought up in the area and through my experience as a councillor and campaigner I have an excellent knowledge of the local issues. I currently work for the Jobcentre and in my free time I enjoy playing and watching sport and going to the cinema. I was appalled by Labour’s Greyhound Opening homes-for-staff scandal, their closure of the cashiers’ service at City Hall, and the collapse of Connaught. Housing is a central issue in Mile Cross. Local residents deserve more than a zero rated housing department and a waiting list of more than 9,000. Improving this service will be one of my key priorities.”

Oscar PENNINGTON (Conservatives)

“I feel the area has been let down by successive Labour city councillors who have treated the area as a safe seat. I live in Mile Cross with my wife and family; I use local services. I am passionate about working to improve the community of which I am a part. If elected I will work to ensure that the city council alongside the police cracks down on anti-social behaviour. I also will work to support residents in their attempts to improve the appearance of our homes, by taking steps against fly tipping.”

Sewell candidates

Tony BARTON (Conservative)

“I am standing in this election because I feel that I have the both the experience and commitment required to be an excellent councillor for the residents of Sewell ward. “I am committed to the local community of which I been a member for more than 25 years.

“I know the area well and understand and not only the negative points, but also the positive aspects of the community. If elected I would work with my colleagues to effective oppose wasteful spending in City Hall. It is important that we ensure that as much money is possible is spent on front line services rather lost in council bureaucracy. I am especially concerned about working to combat fly tipping, litter and anti social behaviour.”

Julie BROCIEK-COULTON (Labour)

“I am a proud married mother of four girls and city councillor for Sewell ward for seven years. I thoroughly enjoy the challenging and very worthwhile work for residents. I have achieved a lot – from safer steps on Bull Close Road to the Silver Street one way system. I‘ve been very involved in the Silver Rooms campaign, arranged the Big Lunch, and helped the Friends of Sewell Park arrange Sewell Park days.

“I am involved with Friends of Norwich in Bloom, Homewatch Association, Sewell Community Group and Toy Library, Friends of Sewell Park and Silver Road Community Centre project. I run my own Rainbow Pack for five to seven-year-olds. I love my community and love the job as your councillor.

“I hope Sewell ward residents will vote for me again. I have lots more that still needs to be done.”

Megan LEWIS (Green Party)

Megan’s interests include housing, the environment and social equality. She really enjoys talking with residents and trying to help with their concerns.

If elected she would relish the chance to work as a local councillor, help fix people’s problems and influence council policies in positive ways. Megan has worked as a researcher for the past two years and lives locally on Buxton Road. She recently got married and is now Megan Clifford, but her former surname, Lewis, appears on the ballot paper as it was her name at the time nominations for the election closed.

Glenn TINGLE (UK Independence Party)

“The UK Independence Party is the only party in these elections with a credible policy to cut the country’s public deficit without cutting essential services. I will fight to make sure the cuts fall on items not of benefit to the people of Britain. I am keen to see local issues become priority and for the people to be heard and not just ignored. I, like many, am totally against the building of the “sex offenders sanctuary” being built off Crome Road – which is opposite a junior school and within a stone’s throw from an infant school. I am also keen to see all residents protected against the effect of anti-social behaviour which many feel is now the norm.”

Ian WILLIAMS (Liberal Democrats)

“I have lived in the Sewell Ward for the past 21 years. I work for St Christopher’s Coach, a charity which helps elderly and disabled people have day trips on a specially adapted bus.

“I am also a Sewell Park College governor and do voluntary work for Magdalen Gates School. I am married to Niki with two children aged 12 and nine.

“Sewell has varied communities with differing needs. If elected, I will press for the preservation of our community assets: local pubs, post offices, school playing fields and parks. I am an experienced former city councillor and understand the way the council operates.

“People in Sewell, as elsewhere, have had more than their fair share of tax burdens – council tax rise after council tax rise from Labour. I will be a strong voice for the area and promise to stand-up to the high-tax low-performance Labour council.”

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