Here is an election result, for Norfolk County Council, you probably missed:
It’s for Clenchwarton and King’s Lynn South:
- Alex Kempe (Lab) 824
- Paul Foster (Con) 424
- Kate Syers (LibDem) 282
- Michael Stone (UKIP) 271
At the last outing the Tory candidate, the late David Harwood, had a smidgeon over 39% of the vote. This time round Labour took 45.5%. Yes, the turn-out was just 22.5% — but that’s par-for-the-course in mid-term local elections.
Labour gain from Conservative.
The real issue (apart from Labour increasing its representation by about a third) was the incinerator. Back in June the County Council (a massive Tory majority) went A-OK for a waster incinerator at Saddlebow. The ConDem government was set up to offer Cory Wheelabrator £91 million in PFI payments to construct the thing.
The local people were less than enthusiastic. West Norfolk Council ran an plebiscite with 65,00o voting against the plan. Every legal action made by the district council was closed down. When a Lynn resident, Joy Franklin, e-mailed Cliff Jordan, Norfolk County Council’s Tory “cabinet member for efficiency” to clarify his views in support of the incinerator, she was told:
I have no intention of answering any enquiry you ever make, rude and badly behaved people I have no time for and that includes you.
Have a happy life, which I doubt you will have.
By this stage there was something of a Peasants’ Revolt impending. For once, Eric Pickles, in Westminster, took heed, and called in the application. In effect, this resets the whole argument.
There’s a footnote to all this, which the Conservative Home website missed.
The campaign group against the incinerator, KLWIN, opposed the election of Tory Paul Foster in Clenchwarton and King’s Lynn South. He had conspired and plotted against the Tory councillors on the King’s Lynn Borough Council (who themselves opposed the incinerator). Meanwhile, the candidate for the vacant Borough Council seat was Sheila Young — another Tory, but who was on record supporting the campaign against the incinerator. She won, with a handsome majority.
Now Mr Cameron, what was your guff about “localism”?