7 things we learnt in the local elections

If you are registered to vote, Thursday is the day to decide your next MP and the next Government of

If you are registered to vote, Thursday is the day to decide your next MP and the next Government of the UK. - Credit: Archant

Last week, thousands of people cast their votes in local elections, which included 83 Norfolk County Council seats, Norwich City Council and a new Police and Crime Commissioner for the county.

Here are seven things we learnt:

Norwich City Council Labour leader Alan Waters Picture: Ian Burt

Norwich City Council Labour leader Alan Waters Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

1.  Labour kept hold of Norwich City Council

Despite not doing so well nationally Labour remained in control of Norwich City Council.

The biggest drama in the city focused on Thorpe Hamlet. Former Green councillor Nigel Utton had quit the party to go independent and then resigned altogether after describing coronavirus as "the biggest con in history".


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The Greens were determined to win it back, although Labour fancied their chances. But it was former Green group leader Ash Haynes who emerged victorious.

Norfolk's new police and crime commissioner, Giles Orpen-Smellie 

Norfolk's new police and crime commissioner, Giles Orpen-Smellie - Credit: Archant

2.  Norfolk has new Police and Crime Commissioner

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A former soldier is Norfolk's new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Giles Orpen-Smellie, who served for 34 years with the parachute regiment, beat his nearest rival, Labour's Michael Rosen, by 50,442 votes in the second round of voting.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Neil Perry

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Neil Perry - Credit: Archant

3.  The Tories tightened their grip on Norfolk County Council

The Tories increased their number of seats from 52 to 58, which included taking Holt from the Liberal Democrats, King's Lynn North and Central from Labour and Marshland North from the Independents.

Green Party Councillor Jamie Osborn raised residents concerns at a recent city council meeting

Green Party councillor Jamie Osborn - Credit: Jamie Osborn

4. The Green Party made gains in Norwich

The Conservatives strengthened their grip on Norfolk County Council, but it was the Greens who were celebrating at the Norwich count.

The party turned three Norwich seats (Nelson, Thorpe Hamlet and Mancroft) from red to green - the first time County Hall has had Green councillors since 2017.

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat group leader at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Alex Broadway

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat group leader at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Alex Broadway - Credit: Alex Broadway

5. Norfolk's Lib Dems need a new leader

Lib Dem leader Steffan Aquarone retained his Melton Constable seat, but stepped down as group leader, saying he did not agree with his party's stance of backing the Norwich Northern Distributor Road Western Link.


Milly Hartley in her best Christmas jumper outside New Buckenham Polling Station during the December

Dog are a popular sight at polling stations - Credit: Sonya Duncan

6.  Not everyone turned out to vote

Turnout varied across the county, with some areas of Norwich recording the highest figures.

Top of the county was Eaton Ward which recorded 56.46pc turnout closely followed by Nelson where 55.78pc of the electorate turned out to vote.

Turnout was lowest in King's Lynn and Central where just 17.28pc of the electorate turned out to cast their vote. Across the county the figure was 33.54pc.

7. And finally counting staff enjoy a dance

Counting staff for Norfolk and South Norfolk councils limbered up to count votes by performing the Macarena and celebrated the end of a long day with a wave around County Hall, as did counters in West Norfolk.


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