Understanding Norwich culturally
Norwich has always been a 'different' place, with its own character. Over 800 years old, it was for many years England's second city after London. It lost that status when the Industrial Revolution meant that cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham grew rapidly because of their geographical and trading postions
Understanding Norwich politically
Norwich is an unusual place. It is a medieval city in the east of England. There are no other large towns for some 50 or 60 miles around and so it is the cultural, economic and social centre for a large rural hinterland.
Understanding Norwich is quite a task. Politically, it is a radical city with a Labour administration for 40-odd years apart from a two year spell of Liberal Democrat control. Now it is Labour controlled - 15 Labour seats to 13 Green, the highest Green representation in the country, 4 or 5 Lib Dem seats and no Conservatives gives you the general picture. Norwich is a district council which briefly gained unitary status which was rescinded by the present coalition government as one of its first acts in power. A real shame as Norwich deserves to be its own city, controlling its own affairs. But there.
There has historically been a very rivalrous relationship with the county of Norfolk, which is a Conservative controlled council and with a body of landowners and farmers is liable to stay that way. Theirs is a much more rural agenda with different attitudes and concerns to those held by Norwich, although there is also a big cross-over too. So, it's complicated.