Norfolk’s four Green county councillors have withdrawn backing for the Labour leadership of the county by abstaining from voting for the Labour councillor George Nobbs who was seeking re-election for a fourth successive year. As a result he lost the election for council leadership today (Monday 9 May) and a Conservative won, leaving them to run the county.
Richard Bearman, leader of the Green group, said they would stand back from the vote as a result of Mr Nobbs’ “ardent support for constructing the Northern Distributor Road, (NDR) a dual carriage way around the north side of Norwich, and the shambles of the content of the devolution agreement”.
“Our objection is also to the content of the agreement,” he added. “There is no mention at all of climate change, the biggest issue facing us this century.”
Green leader Richard Bearman acknowledged his group’s decision to abstain, which came just days after his party lost four Norwich City Council seats to Labour, would be “held against them by some”.
But he said: “This is about the leadership of the county council and George Nobbs’s showing on devolution, the NDR and pursuing central government cuts. And we feel the Norfolk Conservatives need to stand up and take responsibility for their own government’s cuts.”
He said: “We retain our seat on service Committees and will use our influence to get distinctive Green policies enacted.”
“As the Green Party, we do not support austerity cuts to services, no matter which party is responsible at a national or local level. We don’t support raiding vital service budgets to build roads, and we don’t support the devolution agreement that isn’t getting anything for Norfolk.
“As such, we couldn’t vote for either the Labour-led Alliance with UKIP and the Lib Dems, and we couldn’t vote for the Tories. Parties can’t expect unqualified support from any other, they have to earn it. We have supported Labour in the past but they have consistently voted through austerity budgets and we can no longer support them. They have also, through the devolution deal, handed a very-likely Tory east Anglia Mayor power over the region.”