Thetford’s Bus Station, schools and street drinking have been pinpointed as key areas of debate for the forthcoming by-election campaign.
The line-up of candidates standing to be Norfolk County Councillor for Thetford West began to take shape this week, with local Labour, Conservative and UKIP groups confirming their picks for the August 1 election.
First to officially launch his campaign was Labour candidate, Terry Jermy, who was beaten by UKIP candidate, Peter Georgiou, by one vote in the May 2 election.
Speaking in front of the Thomas Paine statue in Kings Street on Tuesday, Mr Jermy said he wanted to make his position on the bus station clear.
“I was horrified that some people didn’t vote for me last time because they thought I was backing the bus station move. We have to get that right,” he said.
Education is another major issue, according to Mr Jermy.
“I was a pupil and a governor at Charles Burrell High School and I’m very concerned about the state of our schools,” he said.
He added that voters felt ‘very let down’ following the resignation of UKIP’s Peter Georgiou from the county council, and needed their faith restored.
UKIP announced on Wednesday that John Newton, who has lived and worked in Thetford since 1975, will be its candidate.
Mr Newton said he believed UKIP were the only party listening to voters.
“In my time I have seen much of the town’s heritage and character lost by planning decisions that often do not reflect the wishes of the majority of people living here,” he said.
Tristan Ashby will be the Conservative candidate.
He said it was a time for change in the town.
“Labour and Liberal Democrats have been in office for decades and if people are not happy as it stands maybe they should vote for something different.
“It’s a chance to put Thetford at the top of the table,” he said.