A new municipality in the Northern Groningen: Appingedam, Delfzijl and Loppersum merged into Eemsdelta
By Adriana Dancu
The municipality of Eemsdelta is a future municipality in the Province of Groningen, which will be established on 1 January 2021 following the unification of the municipalities of Appingedam, Delfzijl, and Loppersum. The municipalities had been planning on merging since November 2017, and announced the January 2021 merger in January 2018.The elections for the new Gemeente Eemsdelta took place on November 18, 2020, and gave the Lokaal Belang Eemsdelta over 44% of votes, and 11 council seats.
What is Lokaal Belang Eemsdelta?
LB Eemsdelta is a party resulting from the merger of Gemeentebelangen Appingedam, Fractie 2014 Delfzijl and Loppersum Vooruit, the three largest local parties from the municipalities of Delfzijl, Appingedam and Loppersum.
They decided to join their forces and operate under the same name (Lokaal Belang Eemsdelta) since January 1, 2020.
“Close and involved”
The elections on November 18 this year, enabled the creation of the new municipality, Eemsdelta, in the norther part of Groningen by the coast. The LB Eemsdelta party won the elections by a landslide, and was a pleasant surprise for the party leader Annalies Usmany: “Unbelievable. I am absolutely speechless. I had hoped to be the winner, but this is very nice. I am very grateful. There is work to be done,”she says.
LB Eemsdelta says that they will work very hard to provide a good environment for inhabitants in the municipality of Eemsdelta: “Lokaal Belang Eemsdelta will build a municipality with great enthusiasm, expertise and of course, together with residents, where it is good for everyone to live, work and stay.”
“In the past you could count on us in the municipalities of Delfzijl, Appingedam and Loppersum and certainly for the future the new party Lokaal Belang Eemsdelta will work for you as a resident of the new municipality of Eemsdelta,” writes the LB Eemsdelta on their website, stressing their support for the approximately 46.000 inhabitants the municipality of Eemsdelta will have.
LB Eemsdelta emerged as the big winner in the municipality elections for the municipality of Eemsdelta, gaining 44,21% of the votes. “I had hoped we would win, but I was not expecting this,” Usmany said. “Years of hard work have paid off tonight.”
It appeared that the Coronavirus did not stop people from voting: “Corona had relatively little influence on the elections” said Gerard Beukema, mayor of the municipality of Delfzijl, and member of the PvdA (Labour) party.
The election outcome benefited the PvdA party as well; the party gained five council seats, being on the second place, after the LB Eesmdelta. “I especially think it’s great to see that we have become the largest in a few villages in the current municipality of Loppersum,” said PvdA party leader Bé Schollema.
For The Seniors Party, the Youth Party and D66 (who are part of the national government), the elections aftermath was a great disappointment, as they are not expected to receive any council seats.