'Our wildest dreams' - North Norfolk Liberal Democrats win huge majority in election 2019
The Liberal Democrats have delivered a drubbing to the Conservatives in the North Norfolk District Council election.
The Lib Dems won 30 seats on the council, with the Tories taking just six and independents claiming four.
The results are in stark contrast to the 2015 election outcome, when the Conservatives won 33 out of what then a 48-seat council. But a series of defections eroded the Tories' majority, until the Lib Dems were able to take control in November.
Sarah Butikofer, Lib Dem group leader, described the election result as “fantastic”.
She said: “We thought we'd do well but we never in our wildest dreams thought it would be this good.
“It's wonderful that the people of north Norfolk have put their trust in us and we need to start working straight away to deliver for them.
“People have seen a microcosm of what's going on in Westminster happening on their doorsteps in north Norfolk.
“We've had all the fighting going on up here that's been going on nationally. It's time for a change, it's time to start working together for everyone in North Norfolk.”
Mrs Butikofer said when she was canvassing, voters told her they wanted a council that could work together, “not just on party political lines.”
She said affordable housing was another major issue for the district's voters.
Mrs Butikofer said: “Families are having to move away and live in other areas. We keep building a lot of new homes in North Norfolk but a lot are going to second home owners, and we want to change that.
“Brexit was mentioned on the doorstep, but every time it was, we said 'look, this is about local issues'.”
The turnout for the vote was 38pc, and there were 563 spoiled ballots.
Labour and the Green Party failed to win any seats on the council.
Conservative group leader John Lee, who himself lost his position on the council, said he was “shocked” and “bitterly disappointed” by the results.
He said: “A lot of hard working, long serving, Conservative district councillors have lost their seats through no fault of their own.”
Mr Lee, who was member for Suffield Park ward, said the swing against the two biggest parties across the country was down to national issues. He said: “I think we're the ones who are receiving the bloody nose for the mess that is Westminster.
“Labour and the Conservatives are obviously in a mess because of the Brexit debacle which should have been delivered long ago. I guess parties like the Lib Dems, Ukip and whoever else are going to gain from that.
“The Lib Dems have a policy of telling people not to vote Labour because they can't win in North Norfolk, so you have to vote Lib Dem. and to some extent that has worked for them.”
North Norfolk District Council
LD: 30 (+11), C: 6 (-13), I: 4 (-5) L: 0, G: 0.
Control: Liberal Democrats
Turn out: 38pc
Number of spoiled votes: 563
Note: Following a boundary review, the council is now made up of 40 seats across 32 wards. Before this election, it consisted of 48 councillors across 34 wards.
Ward by ward results
Bacton: Fiona Hall (L) 52; Pauline Porter (I) 168; Crispian Riley-Smith (C) 168; Clive Stockton (LD) 319; majority 211; turnout 35%
Beeston Regis and The Runtons: Sarah Butikofer (LD) 623; Mike Knowles (C) 331; Albert Winslade (L) 36; majority 292; turnout 35.7%
Briston: Ruth Bartlett (L) 30; Jenny English (C) 271; Jolanda Stenton (LD) 408; majority 137; turnout 35.5%
Coastal: Michael Dalby (C) 289; Steve Rush (L) 44; Karen Ward (LD) 652; majority 363; turnout 50.2
Cromer Town (two members elected): Timothy Adams (LD) 992; Mike Bossingham (G) 213; Roger Cunnington (C) 334; Scarlett Franklin (L) 95; Phil Harris (L) 109; John Lee Jnr (C) 359; Andreas Yiasimi (LD) 931; majority 578; turnout 40.3%
Erpingham: Stephen Green (G) 121; Norman Smith (I) 196; Andrew Steed (L) 76; John Toye (LD) 364; Buffy Willcox (C) 294; majority 70; turnout 48.4%
Gresham: Pierre Butikofer (LD) 400; Hugh Cabbell Manners (C) 237; Stuart Jones (L) 37; Callum Ringer (I) 238; majority 162; 47.08%
Happisburgh: Stephen Burke (L) 92; Anne Filgate (G) 105; Richard Price (C) 279; Lucy Shires (LD) 449; majority 170; turnout 43.3%
Hickling: Harry Blathwayt (LD) 455; Finlay Brisbane-Langsdon (L) 34; Paul Rice (I) 171; Jane Simpson (C); majority 245; turnout 41.2%
Holt (two members elected) Duncan Baker (C) 851; Georgie Perry-Warnes (LD) 805; Maggie Prior (C) 548; Lyndon Swift (LD) 791; majority 14; turnout 47.5%
Hoveton and Tunstead (two members elected) Nigel Dixon (C) 857; Gerard Mancini-Boyle (C) 682; Mary Seward (LD) 542; Jean Thirtle (L) 133; Sarah Tustin (LD) 424; majority 258; turnout 34.8%
Lancaster North: Christopher Cushing (C) 250; Sean Mears (LD) 200; majority 50; turnout 24.7%
Lancaster South (two members elected): Imogen Bruce (L) 214; Annie Claussen-Reynolds (C) 451; Jeremy Punchard (I) 573; John Rest (I)470; Roy Reynolds (C) 417; majority 19; turnout 27.1%
Mundesley: Elizabeth Dixon (G) 80; Wendy Fredericks (LD) 548; Barry Smith (C) 292; majority 226; turnout 42.7%
North Walsham East (two members elected) Jeremy Eales (C) 234; Jeanne Heal (L) 131; Paul Heinrich (LD) 643;
Mandy McKenna (L) 100; Richard Sear (C) 207; Eric Seward (LD) 716; majority; 409; turnout 29.1%
North Walsham Market Cross: Jacqui Cross (L) 59; Virginia Gay (LD) 486; Fiona Turner (C) 216; majority 210; turnout 37.6%
North Walsham West (two members elected): Elaine Addison (L) 130; Nina Baker (C) 192; Don Birch (LD) 727; Helen Eales (C) 180; Barry Hester (I) 210; Nigel Lloyd (LD) 717; Ray Mooney (L) 90; majority 507; turnout 29.3%
Poppyland: Eddie Anderson (G) 158; Jill Aquarone (LD) 201; Christine Collins (L) 34; Angie Fitch-Tillett (I) 284; Diana Irving (C) 179; majority 83; turnout; 41.5%
Priory: Annie Green (I) 201; Richard Kershaw (LD) 296; Martin Langsdon (L) 42; Dan Mann (C) 215; majority 81; turnout 40.2%
Roughton: Sue Arnold (C) 364; Nigel Pearce (LD) 430; majority 66; turnout 36.3%
Sheringham North: Susan Brisbane (L) 85; Brian Hannah (LD) 472; Eddie Mayell (C) 187; majority 285; turnout 37.2%
Sheringham South (two members elected): Penny Bevan Jones (LD) 873; Colin Heinink (LD) 875; Judy Oliver (C) 705; Mark Rosen (L) 100; Dick Shepherd (C) 713; majority 168; turnout 42.7%
St Benet: Dennis Simpson (C) 272; Adam Varley (LD) 603; Anna Walsh (L) 34; majority 33; turnout 45.6%
Stalham (two members elected) Timothy Bartlett (L) 127; Michael Filgate (G) 232; Pauline Grove-Jones (LD) 762; Marion Millership (LD) 733; Jon Payne (C) 397; Robert Stevens (C) 464; majority 269; turnout 33.4%
Stibbard: Vincent Fitzpatrick (C) 381; Mike Pert (LD) 309; Barbara Wyvill (G) 242; majority 72; turnout 41.9%
Stody: Andrew Brown (LD) 599; Steven de la Salle (C) 213; Edmund Wright (L) 58; majority 386; turnout 46.2%
Suffield Park: Bev Broadhead (L) 88; John Lee (C) 285; Emma Spagnola (LD) 544; majority 259; turnout 41.6%
The Raynhams: Nigel Housden (I) 240; Becky Palmer (C) 220; Sue Traverso (LD) 104; majority 20; turnout 27.2%
Trunch: David Attew (C) 236; Grey Hayman (LD) 453; Graham Jones (G) 127; Mike Ward (L) 55; majority 217; turnout 40.7%
Walsingham: Tom Fitzpatrick (C) 395; Simon Hester (I) 228; Andrea Osbourne (LD) 134; majority 167; turnout 37.4%
Wells with Holkham: Peter Fisher (LD) 307; Michael Gates (L) 199; David Mack (C) 202; majority 105; turnout 36.4%
Worstead: Lynne Irons (G) 54; Alistair Mackay (C) 142; Saul Penfold (LD) 592; Tom Smith (L) 44; majority 459; turnout 39.7%