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Local election 2019: Six things you might have missed in the results day drama

PUBLISHED: 16:36 08 May 2019

Shaun Vincent, Conservative group leader at Broadland District Council, was re-elected to his Plumstead seat with a margin of 22 votes over his Green Party rival. Picture: Bethany Whymark

Shaun Vincent, Conservative group leader at Broadland District Council, was re-elected to his Plumstead seat with a margin of 22 votes over his Green Party rival. Picture: Bethany Whymark

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With the dust now settling on a dramatic election day, in which control of one of the councils was settled by just 11 votes, here are a few of the things you may have missed as the results rolled in.

Tony Adams, Broadland District Council member for Taverham North Photo: Dominic Gilbert.Tony Adams, Broadland District Council member for Taverham North Photo: Dominic Gilbert.

A leader's close shave

Conservative councillor Shaun Vincent has served as leader of Broadland District Council since last June, after Andrew Proctor stepped down to become leader of the county council.

On being first elected in 2015, Mr Vincent also held a commanding majority in his ward of Plumstead, with 50pc of the vote share and a majority of 555.

Christopher Kemp, Conservative candidate for CringlefordChristopher Kemp, Conservative candidate for Cringleford

However, faced with just one opponent in Green candidate Andrew Cawdron, the leader came within a whisker of losing his seat this time around.

Mr Vincent received 435 votes to Mr Cawdron's 413, a majority of just 22.

Long-serving councillor's new ward

Haydn Thirtle suffered a heavy defeat in the Fleggburgh ward.  Picture: James BassHaydn Thirtle suffered a heavy defeat in the Fleggburgh ward. Picture: James Bass

Another notable result of the Broadland election saw a councillor of 43 years enter his 44th year in a new ward.

Tony Adams had been councillor for Hellesdon South East since 1976, however, the Norwich Conservative group - which selects candidates for this ward - opted to deselect Mr Adams this time around.

Instead, he was selected to stand in Taverham North, which the Broadland Tory group selects candidates for.

Mr Adams won in his ward, however, one of the two seats in Hellesdon South East was lost to Liberal Democrat David Britcher.

Jamie Osborn, city councillor for the Mancroft ward Pic: Jamie OsbornJamie Osborn, city councillor for the Mancroft ward Pic: Jamie Osborn

Ousted after five decades as a councillor

One of the country's longest serving district councillors was unsuccessful in adding to five decades of service.

When Christopher Kemp was first elected a councillor, The Beatles were still together as an active band - being elected to Havering London Borough Council in 1968.

He had been a councillor in these parts since 2003 when he was elected onto South Norfolk Council. He had been ward councillor for Cringleford most recently, but this time standing in Loddon and Chedgrave he was unable to secure a seat.

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Mr Kemp was pipped at the post by fellow Conservative Kay Mason Billig and Jeremy Rowe, who became Labour's first councillor in South Norfolk since 1995.

Broads chairman's crushing defeat

Going into the election as a twin-hatter and as chairman of the Broads Authority, Haydyn Thirtle is a prominent figure in local politics.

Mr Thirtle, though, was one of just two Conservative casualties in Great Yarmouth Borough Council. However, it was the nature of his defeat which would have raised the most eyebrows.

In the Fleggburgh ward, Mr Thirtle received just 151 votes, with independent candidate and Filby in Bloom chairman Adrian Thompson winning the seat with 1,050 votes - a whopping majority of 899.

From campaigner to councillor

The Green Party had a lot to cheer about in the Norwich election, with some new faces in City Hall as well as the return of a familiar one in Lesley Grahame.

However, one of the new Green councillors has already made his face known in local politics.

Jamie Osborn, who won a seat in Mancroft ward, has been heavily involved in the Extinction Rebellion movement and was one of the activists arrested during the County Hall sit-in back in February.

Mr Osborn, 24, was also one of the Norfolk participants in the movement's protests in London in the run-up to the election.

Spoiled votes through the roof in Yarmouth

With widespread frustration around national politics always anticipated to have an impact at the polls, there was an expectation that turnout would fall and the number of spoiled votes could rise.

However, few could have anticipated the extent the amount of spoiled papers swelled by in one district of the county.

In Great Yarmouth, a whopping 958 papers were spoiled, an increase of more than 1,000pc on the previous election in 2018.

In Southtown and Cobholm alone there was 88 spoiled votes - in a ward where just 1,010 people cast valid votes - a turnout of 18pc.

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