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Mix-up leaves party without candidate

09:16 02 May 2006

Neil Stock, member of the Colchester Conservative Association says the situation is

Neil Stock, member of the Colchester Conservative Association says the situation is 'unfortunate'

THE Conservative party will be one candidate down in the borough elections in Colchester after an error on a nomination paper, it has been revealed.

Glen Bath had been due to stand in the New Town ward but his entry was ruled invalid by election officials.
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Current holder of the ward, Lib Dem Theresa Higgins

THE Conservative party will be one candidate down in the borough elections in Colchester after an error on a nomination paper, it has been revealed.

Glen Bath had been due to stand in the New Town ward but his entry was ruled invalid by election officials.

This was because his nomination form had an incorrect entry and it had been submitted so close to the deadline there was no time to alter it.

Neil Stock, chairman of North Essex Conservative Association and member of Colchester Conservative Association, said yesterday the situation was “unfortunate.”

“We like to put a candidate forward for every seat and Glen Bath has stood there before and is very well known in the community,” said Mr Stock.

“I am confident he will eventually win that seat but it won't be this time because he is not standing.”

The elections take place on Thursday and the seat is currently held by Liberal Democrat Theresa Higgins.

Mr Stock said: “The process for a candidate standing is really, really strict.

“They have to be proposed and seconded and there has to be eight consenting signatures from people on the electoral register who live in the ward.

“The form has to be absolutely perfect without the slightest mistake.”

He said the form had been submitted the morning of the noon deadline and when the mistake was found there was no time to rectify it.

“I am afraid these things do happen from time to time. It is a surprisingly bureaucratic process to get a candidate to stand for local election,” Mr Stock added.

Residents in New Town have been told of the situation in a letter sent to homes by Ron Levy, chairman of Colchester Conservative Association.

In the letter Mr Levy explained Mr Bath would not be able to stand and added: “As you can imagine, this situation is a huge disappointment to me, most especially as this is the first election since our dynamic new leader, David Cameron, took over at the head of the Conservative party and when many people are telling us that they are now considering voting Conservative for the first time.”

Mr Bath could not be reached for comment yesterday.

n The candidates standing in the New Town ward are Scott Harris (Lab), Theresa Higgins (LD) and Maria Iacovou (Green).

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