We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)


Over the last twenty years the Party's organisation in South Norfolk, in what was once a very safe blue area, has been built up to challenge the Conservatives at every level of political activity.

South Norfolk District Council

The political situation on South Norfolk Council has changed radically over the years. Following the 1979 district elections there was just one Liberal member on South Norfolk Council which was controlled by a large Conservative/Independent majority. Since that date the picture gradually changed until at the 1995 elections, following four years of no overall control for any party, the Liberal Democrats took outright control of the Council for the first time. In May 1999 this position was confirmed with Liberal Democrat councillors returned for 27 of the 47 seats. In May 2003, under new ward boundaries, the Liberal Democrats again retained control but in 2007, in line with the national trend, the Tories won a majority of the seats once again.

At the latest elections, in May 2019 on new ward boundaries, the Lib Dems had a net gain of three seats. Currently the Council comprises 10 Liberal Democrat Councillors, 35 Conservatives and 1 Labour. However, as usual, the first-past-the-post voting system completely distorts the results. The share of the votes cast in this election was: Lib Dem 30%, Conservative 46%, Labour 19%, Others 5%.

At all times the Liberal Democrat group on the Council try to apply the Party's basic principles to local issues. When in control of the council they work to implement District Manifestos produced locally for the council elections. A new Manifesto is drawn up for each election following a local conference where all members of the Party within the district are entitled to speak and vote. When in opposition they try to provide constructive and effective scrutiny to the Tory administration.

The next elections are scheduled for May 2023.

Norfolk County Council

A Liberal Democrat councillor currently represents one of the twelve county divisions in South Norfolk, Costessey, the remainder are all held by Conservatives. At the last county elections of May 2017 South Norfolk bucked the trend and, unlike other areas of the county, both Labour and UKIP failed to win any divisions here. The next county elections will be in May 2021.

At the previous 2013 elections no party won an overall majority on the Council. The Liberal Democrat group reached a loose arrangement with Labour and UKIP, with Green support, to provide a "rainbow administration" to run the Council. This worked very well, tackling the many challenges to providing good local services, until May 2016 when the Greens on the Council sat on their hands and allowed the Tories to regain control. Despite some Lib Dem gains they retained control in 2017.

A Liberal Democrat County Conference is held in November each year, usually in November, where all members of the Party in Norfolk are able to influence the Party's county policies.

Branch Structure

South Norfolk Liberal Democrats believe in devolution and try to put it into practice. The Local Party is organised on the basis of six local branches each covering a group District Council wards . Each branch committee is responsible for all activities in its area, particularly campaigning and elections. Branches appoint representatives to serve on the Local Party's Executive Committee, which coordinates all the Party's activities in South Norfolk.

The District, and thus the Local Party, covers the whole of the South Norfolk parliamentary constituency and parts of two others. Wymondham and Hingham form part of the Mid-Norfolk constituency and half of Costessey forms part of Norwich South. If the current (but suspended) proposals for constituency boundary changes are implemented part of a fourth constituency, Great Yarmouth, will be added

Parliamentary Elections

Liberal Democrat candidates achieved second place in the South Norfolk constituency at every general election from 1983 to 2010. Chris Brown was the Party's Candidate at the 2017 and 2019 General Elections and he is the Local Party's Parliamentary Spokesman.

European Elections

From 1999 to 2019 South Norfolk was part of the Eastern Constituency for Euro elections. This returned 7 MEPs to the European Parliament, two of them Liberal Democrats in what was sadly the last European election to be held in this country in May 2019.

The Wider World

Members of South Norfolk Liberal Democrats play a active role in the Party's activities at county, regional and national levels. We send representatives to conferences and participate in a variety of ways in the democratic processes which direct the Party.

Liberal Democrat Philosophy

The Liberal Democrats were formed in 1988 following the merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP). They thus combine the traditional values of Liberalism and Social Democracy. This is perhaps best summed up by an extract from the Party's constitution:

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity....

What LibDems believe

Join the Team

If you would like to join, help or just require more information about the Liberal Democrats please contact -

South Norfolk Liberal Democrats, Chapel Farm, Denton, Harleston Norfolk IP20 0AW
tel: 01986 788279

or email membership@southnorfolklibdems.org.uk