Norfolk’s Conservatives have overcome the complacency and leadership troubles that saw them lose control of the county council, according to one of its MPs.
The claim was made as the party came to Lynn on Friday to launch its manifesto for May’s county council elections.
Although the Tories have been in charge of the authority since last May, they had spent the previous three years in opposition, having lost power after the 2013 elections.
And North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said the causes of that result were partly self-inflicted.
Addressing candidates and supporters during the launch event, held at Marriott’s Warehouse, on the South Quay, he said: “Four years ago, I think we got complacent, frankly.
“We had what could only be described as a leadership crisis on the county council. We didn’t have a clear enough message.”
But he also praised the current administration of county leader Cliff Jordan, who took over following the collapse of the rainbow coalition of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP.
He said: “I’ve never known an administration that has been so totally dysfunctional and so utterly useless.”
The Tories say they will keep council tax “as low as possible” while protecting fire services, libraries and museums.
The party’s 16-page manifesto pledged to deliver improved care for vulnerable children and adults, greater opportunities for young people, devolved community budgets for parishes and work with other authorities to increase recycling rates.
The document also promises an extra £20 million of investment in road repairs, plus an increase of parish partnership spending to £1 million.
Mr Jordan said: “We care passionately about the whole of Norfolk, and we were determined to offer a programme that was positive, ambitious, and visionary for our county and its people.”