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SOUTH NORFOLK'S LIB DEM TEAM

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

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 retained control again but in 2007 the Tories won a majority of the seats once again. At the May 2011 elections, in spite of the national situation, the Lib Dems regained one seat from the Tories. Currently the Council comprises 6 Liberal Democrats and 39 Conservatives with one seat vacant following the sad death of the Conservative Councillor for Chedgrave and Thurton. There are no UKIP, Labour or Green councillors anywhere in South Norfolk.


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 2019.

Norfolk County Council

A Liberal Democrat councillor currently represents one of the ten county divisions in South Norfolk - the remainder are all held by Conservatives. At the county elections of May 2013 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 2017.

After 12 years of Conservative control no party won an overall majority in these elections. 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.

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

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 local branches covering one or two of the constituency's ten county divisions. 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.

Since the last general election the district has covered three parliamentary constituencies with Wymondham and Hingham forming part of the new Mid-Norfolk constituency and half of Costessey forming part of Norwich South. The three constituency Local Parties work together on local government matters.

Parliamentary Elections

Liberal Democrat candidates achieved second place in the South Norfolk constituency at every general election from 1983 to 2010. Jacky Howe was the Party's Parliamentary Candidate at the 2015 General Election.

European Elections

Since 1999 South Norfolk has been part of the Eastern Constituency for Euro elections. This now returns 7 MEPs to the European Parliament. The next elections are in 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 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....

Join the Team

If you would like to join or help the Party, 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