The opening salvoes in the battle for Norfolk are now distant memories, but the bombardment with leaflets, letters and canvassers acts as a reminder that we are still fighting in the streets and the fields in this election campaign.
Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council has 84 seats, all of which are up for grabs in our 4-yearly election. At our peak in this administration, we held 63 of the seats and are now seeking to defend our majority and overall control of the Council.
This election already feels different to those we have previously fought – in part because we are facing a challenge from UKIP in almost every seat (70 of them – more than either the Lib Dems or Labour) – but also because for the first time in 15 years, this election will not coincide with another election or referendum. The deciding factor in this election is turnout, more so than in our recent history.
But we are confident and our supporters seem to be confident as well. Over the last four years, we have saved £105m and have set this year’s budget to save another £25m. We froze Council Tax for three years running – leaving more money in the pockets of our hard-working tax payers. We kept all of our libraries open and we invested in tangible, community-led projects, listening to what people wanted and then providing the means for them to deliver it.
What does the future hold?
We are not complacent, and there is always more to do. That is why the Conservatives at Norfolk County Council have set out a manifesto on what more we can do for the people of Norfolk.
- We will continue to freeze Council Tax – with a pledge to freeze it for at least one more year.
- We will keep all our libraries open and will not force any rural schools to close.
- We will invest an extra £20m into Norfolk’s roads.
- Further invest in our excellent Fire & Rescue Service.
- Provide additional care for vulnerable people
But we will also continue to listen to our communities. We will continue to improve the way we engage with our residents and look at new ways of driving down costs and maintaining critical front line services. We will boost the local economy and will always, always, continue our work to make Norfolk a first class place to live.
We have a strong record of listening and working hard for Norfolk people – and this work we will continue.
We are proud to stand on our record again.