It's election time for councils, too

ALL eyes may be on the general election at the moment but voters are also set to go to the polls in the local elections on May 6.Councillors in both Great Yarmouth and Waveney will by vying for votes in the borough council elections, but voters in Norwich who had also been due hold elections for a third of the council, have seen the poll cancelled following the government's decision to create a new city unitary council.

ALL eyes may be on the general election at the moment but voters are also set to go to the polls in the local elections on May 6.

Councillors in both Great Yarmouth and Waveney will by vying for votes in the borough council elections, but voters in Norwich who had also been due hold elections for a third of the council, have seen the poll cancelled following the government's decision to create a new city unitary council.

The councils play a crucial part in delivering crucial services which matter to people such as emptying the bins, housing and recycling.

The Conservatives comfortably control both Great Yarmouth and Waveney and appear confident of maintaining their hold if not increasing it.


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But with the poll on the same day as the general election turnout is likely to be more than double the traditional 30pc seen in local elections, and nobody is quite sure who will benefit from that and whether Labour could make up some lost ground - in areas which are both seen as 'bell weather' constituencies in the general election

In Great Yarmouth there are two husband and wife teams fighting separate seats for Labour, as is the wife of Yarmouth's Labour MP Tony Wright.

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Both the Tories and Labour are contesting all seats and the Lib Dems have put up candidates in five seats.

There are also two Independents standing.

There will also be a by-election in Claydon after the death of Labour councillor Richard Barker in February.

Key issues for the town are regeneration and jobs and developments such as the outer harbour and a third river crossing. But national politics, anger over the expenses scandal and fears over immigration are also common doorstep themes confronting candidates on the ground.

In Waveney the contest will mark the last time the authority will be elected in thirds with an all out election for the whole council next year, while both the Greens, who already have a council seat and the UK Independence Party, are fielding candidates.

Key issues locally include the campaign for a third river crossing, regeneration and attracting jobs in the offshore industry and renewable energy.

The contest will also see both council leader Mark Bee and opposition leader John Shanahan while Lib Dems group leader Andrew Shepherd is also standing down in Kirkley.

Another longstanding councillor stepping aside is Harbour ward independent Ruth Ford.

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