Voters in Hermitage ward, on the north-western edge of Breckland, will on Thursday elect their new district councillor in a by-election.

The election is being held following the resignation of Conservative councillor Trevor Carter, who stepped down in October for “personal reasons”.

Hermitage ward lies between Dereham, Fakenham and Swaffham and includes the villages of Colkirk, Mileham, Weasenham and Tittleshall.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the candidates why they should be elected.

The Worker’s Party of Britain, founded by George Galloway, is standing Graeme Briggs-White, who said he would “fight for the services which people in a rural community need.”

Mr Briggs-White, who has worked in social care for “the best part of 20 years” said he had seen the impact of service cuts and increased prescription costs.

He pledged to work out how “problems can be solved with the public interest first and foremost, rather than looking at problems as opportunities for making profits."

The Conservatives are standing former mayor of Dereham Robert Hambidge.

Mr Hambidge is a farmer in Pudding Norton who says he drives through the ward almost daily.

“I understand the challenges facing a rural community,” he said.

Priorities for Mr Hambidge include the “provision of good local services, to include good broadband".

“If elected, I will work hard to support local businesses to recover as we emerge from the pandemic,” he added.

Ian Minto, who runs a Breckland-based technology business, is standing for the Liberal Democrats.

“Having served as both a parish councillor and school governor, and running a small business, I know how vital it is to have access to political representation that listens,” said Mr Minto.

If elected, he said he would listen to and represent local concerns, as well as “ensure that planning applications are considered on their merits, and challenged as to how they benefit the local community, impact infrastructure and environmental sustainability.”

Labour is standing Paul Siegert who lives on the edge of the ward.

The party said: “Paul knows from experience the challenges and pleasures of living in this part of Breckland. With a professional background in media he will be an effective campaigner for residents.

"Labour's priorities for Hermitage Ward are to improve access to education, services, and jobs for local people, make sure everyone has a decent home, and that we protect ourselves and the environment from the impact of climate change."