Monday, July 05, 2010

Norwich council scattered to the winds

The ongoing fiasco of the attempts to turn Norwich into a unitary council took a bizarre turn today as the courts ruled that cancelling elections earlier in the year was illegal and has sacked one third of Norwich's councillors just like that.

Due to the fact that the current council set up was to be abolished it was decided earlier in the year that it was unnecessary to hold council elections in the city as the entire council would soon be abolished. This was a bit of a pain at the time for the Greens, incidentally, as the loss of council elections running alongside the general threw our election strategy out of kilter somewhat.

Now we have a situation where the council has no formulated plan on how they are going to move forwards from here, and while they are thinking about it there are now 9 Labour, 9 Greens, 4 Lib Dems and 4 Tories (not quite the way we were hoping to become the joint largest group on the council - a national first for the Greens) and a host of councils have found themselves ejected into the light and unemployment with a few hours notice.

This includes the Green, Lib Dem and Tory group leaders as well as four of Labour's executive members. All in one fell swoop and, as yet, unreplaced. This kind of sudden and unexpected change can't possibly be any good for the people of Norwich, although there's an argument that it's all the previous Labour government's fault for cancelling the elections in the first place.

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