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Photo gallery UKIP gain five Norfolk County Council seats in …

Scenes from the Norfolk County Council Election count at Memorial Hall in Dereham for the Breckland Area - Swaffham Conservative candidate Ann Steward (centre) is consoled after the result. Picture: Matthew Usher. Scenes from the Norfolk County Council Election count at Memorial Hall in Dereham for the Breckland Area – Swaffham Conservative candidate Ann Steward (centre) is consoled after the result.

Picture: Matthew Usher.

By Ian Clarke and Martin George1 Sunday, May 5, 2013
12:59 PM

Cabinet member Ann Steward was a high profile casualty as UKIP gained five Norfolk County Council seats in the Breckland area.

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Mrs Steward was beaten in Swaffham by 106 votes by Paul Smyth and it reflected the huge swing to UKIP in the traditonally true blue part of Norfolk.

At the last election, the Tories won 11 of the 12 seats in the district. The other was won by the Liberal Democrats in Thetford West and UKIP didn t field any candidates.

But four years on, the Conservatives lost four seats in the district to UKIP, with John Rogers being defeated by Stam Hebborn in Watton, Marion Chapman-Allen beaten by Denis Crawford in Thetford East and Gordon Bambridge losing to Paul Gilmour in Dereham South as well as Mrs Steward s loss.

UKIP s Peter Georgiou also won the Thetford West seat by just one vote from Labour s Terry Jermy.

There had also indications that county council leader Bill Borrett and cabinet member Cliff Jordan could have lost their seats – but they were both re-elected.

Mrs Steward was visibly upset by the result and said: It was a shock and it was a shock for Swaffham generally. Obviously the electorate decided their voice for UKIP.

All I can say is that I hope the candidate is as enthusiastic as I was and I hope they can deliver as well as I have, but I fear not.

Mr Smyth said: We are delighted. I think that it is not an exaggeration to say that for UKIP today is an historic day.

Mr Borrett – who retained the Elmham and Mattishall seat – said: I am hearing that the reason people are voting UKIP is Europe and immigration, and these are not things that are within the remit of Norfolk County Council. They are not issues we control and they are national issues.

The victorious UKIP candidate for Dereham South, Mr Gilmour, said most people had voted for him because of national rather than local issues.

He said: People have viewed UKIP as a fringe party and now they are starting to see it as a party that is serious and has policies that they are prepared to accept and it s a party that listens to ordinary people.

Some people may say it s a protest vote against the three main parties, which is true, but it sends a message to them that people are not happy with the way things are going.

We are riding the crest of a wave and we need to build on it.

Hopefully people will get into the habit of voting UKIP.

Mr Jordan, who won Yare and All Saints, said: It s a national swing. Mr Cameron and his band down there need first of all to listen to what we have been telling them. We have been telling them for the last three years the way they are going about it is wrong.

After winning in Thetford East, Mr Crawford said: I m surprised by the size of the majority but I m not surprised I won.

Everyone pulled the stops out and we did work hard.

A lot of the majority unfortunately has to do with the people of foreign extraction in Thetford. I m an immigrant myself and I was born in America so I have mixed feelings about things, but I don t believe we should have open borders.

A new Conservative councillor, William Richmond, was elected in Dereham North.

Mr Richmond said issues raised with him in the town included pot-holes, the A47, schools and open spaces, while national issues such as immigration, Europe and the cost of living also came up.

He said: When the piles were in the tray I was getting a bit concerned but we certainly put in a lot of work and got a good response on the doorsteps and it s all about listening to people.

I have been quite surprised by how well UKIP did but to be fair to them they have done a lot of leafleting and have an office in the town.

Dereham North UKIP candidate Anna Hamilton, who came second, said she had been ill for four weeks during the campaign and unable to meet many voters, but said the result was a good platform for her bid to unseat Tory MP George Freeman in the 2015 general election.

Harry Clarke, defeated Labour candidate in Dereham North, said: I think in Dereham it was quite clear all the main parties have been affected by the recent UKIP surge, regardless of the efforts of individual candidates and it s clear that issues that are completely unrelated to the county council have been seized on by UKIP.

You are always disappointed if you don t improve your share of the vote. We fought a hard campaign and it s no reflection on our abilities or our campaign.

Mrs Chapman-Allen, whose 371 majority in Thetford East was over-turned, said: I am very disappointed for Thetford.

To be represented by totally inexperienced people with so much investment coming into the town that has to be looked after and chased after and encouraged I will have serious concerns from County Hall.

Mark Kiddle-Morris, who held his Necton and Launditch seat, said: I think as I went around the doorsteps the consensus was that if they were going to vote UKIP they were unhappy with the Conservatives nationally, and I think that s borne out in the UKIP vote.

Mr Jermy, Labour leader on Breckland Council who lost agonisingly in Thetford West, said: I worked as hard as I possibly could so I have no regrets. I was born on that estate and lived there the whole of my life and worked so hard and we still got defeated on national issues. I m disappointed.

On the door step I rarely heard people talk to me about immigration.

People were talking about their local community and in the vast majority of cases they were respectful of the work I had done.

UKIP tap into people who don t vote. Angry men voted yesterday, hard working people who feel let down, and unfortunately it was not the Labour candidate they supported but that s how they voted and I respect their decision.

Peter Georgiou, the UKIP candidate who defeated him, said people were angry about wasteful council spending, and added: I feel proud to have beaten him because he is a very good candidate. He has done a lot in the town and I hope I can live up to the voters expectations.

Attleborough was the first result declared in Norfolk, and saw Alec Byrne re-elected after 16 years representing the town.

He said: I m very relieved.

I have been there a very long time. I knew on the doorstep it was not going to be easy but they all came through in the end. I would have been happy to win by one vote.

His UKIP opponent John Savory, who came second, said: There are a lot of disenchanted people, not so much on local issues but more on national issues immigration, unemployment, the benefits system.

In Attleborough there are a lot of retired people of my age group and they are disenchanted with how the county is changing.

Breckland results

ATTLEBOROUGH; Alec Byrne* (C HOLD), 907; John Savory (UKIP), 758; John Williams (Lab), 530; Pat McClenning (LD), 134.

Turnout: 26.3pc.

DEREHAM NORTH: William Richmond (C HOLD), 909; Anna Hamilton (UKIP), 793; Harry Clarke (Lab), 472; Ann Bowyer (Green), 224. Turnout 30.9pc.

DEREHAM SOUTH: Paul Gilmour (UKIP GAIN), 876; Gordon Bambridge (C), 693; Craig Warmer (Lab) 528; Paul Speed (LD), 180; David Bowyer (Green), 112; Chris Olley (CPA), 58. Turnout 23.83pc.

ELMHAM AND MATTISHALL: Bill Borrett* (C HOLD), 1380; Anthony Moore (UKIP), 903; Linda Goreham (Lab), 545.

Turnout: 31.7pc.

GUILTCROSS: Stephen Askew (C HOLD), 1132; Jeremy Power (UKIP), 692; Jim Waters (Lab), 438; Steve Gordon (LD), 334. Turnout 31.4pc:

NECTON AND LAUNDITCH: Mark Kiddle-Morris* (C HOLD) 1289; James Leigh-Wood (UKIP), 867; Joe Sisto (Lab), 582; Jane Keidan-Cooper (Green), 254; Glynn Burrows (Independent), 180. Turnout: 36.7pc.

SWAFFHAM: Paul Smyth (UKIP GAIN) 1055; Ann Steward* (C), 949; Matthew Fulton (Lab), 367.

Turnout: 30.4pc.

THE BRECKS: Ian Monson* (C HOLD), 1253; James Vernon (UKIP), 1082; Stephen Green (Lab), 301; Jeff Prosser (Green), 194; Mark Clamp (CPA), 95. Turnout: 33.6pc.

THETFORD EAST: Denis Crawford (UKIP GAIN), 896; Marion Chapman-Allen* (C), 502; Brenda Canham (Lab), 360; Julia Yelloly (Green), 85; Bodo Rissmann (LD), 63. Turnout: 24.5pc.

THETFORD WEST: Peter Georgiou (UKIP GAIN), 814; Terry Jermy (Lab), 813; Tristan Ashby (C), 353; Danny Jeffrey (LD), 122; Carl Clark (CPA), 134; Sandra Walmsley (Green), 64.

Turnout: 23.87pc.

WATTON: Stan Hebborn (UKIP GAIN), 808; John Rogers* (C), 662; Keith Gilbert (Independent), 569; Margaret Holmes (Lab), 230; Timothy Birt (Green), 102.

Turnout: 28.1pc.

YARE AND ALL SAINTS: Cliff Jordan* (C HOLD), 1074; Paul Thompson (UKIP), 942; John Michie (Lab), 421.

Turnout: 32.4pc.

KEY:

(C) Conservative Party; (CPA) Christian Peoples Alliance: (LD) Liberal Democrat Party; (Lab) Labour Party; (G) Green Party; (Ind) Independent; (UKIP) UK Independence Party; (*) sitting candidate



References

  1. ^ By Ian Clarke and Martin George (www.lowestoftjournal.co.uk)

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