England & Wales

Lib Dem MP will oppose Conservative plans to reverse Norwich Unitary status


The media is looking closely for signs of strain in the new coalition government. There were some signs of tension over the weekend and today but overall things seem to be holding up pretty well. Local differences between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives over plans for Norwich City Council, however, could move up the political food chain and provide an early test for the coalition.

Eric Pickles announced on Thursday that plans to give Norwich Council unitary status will be reversed. This decision has been opposed by local Liberal Democrat and Labour politicians. Now The Yarmouth Mercury has reported Brian Watkins, Lib Dem Leader at Norwich City Council, as saying that Liberal Democrat Norwich South MP Simon Wright will join him to lobby his party at a national level for a change in policy.

The rights and wrongs of this one are complex. On the one hand, the Conservatives had a clear manifesto pledge to halt the proposals. On the other, however, the majority of voters in Norwich voted for Labour and Lib Dem candidates who supported the proposals. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.