Count down to Essex poll
CONSERVATIVES will be hoping their grip on power in Essex continues when the "forgotten" election – for the county council – takes place on Thursday.The Tories control Essex County Council, with 48 seats, while Labour have 18, the Liberal Democrats have 11 and there are two independents.
By Roddy Ashworth
CONSERVATIVES will be hoping their grip on power in Essex continues when the "forgotten" election – for the county council – takes place on Thursday.
The Tories control Essex County Council, with 48 seats, while Labour have 18, the Liberal Democrats have 11 and there are two independents.
But the campaign for local power has been vastly over-shadowed by the poll's national counterpart, which has seen constant, month-long fighting between the major parties, pausing only briefly for the Pope's funeral and the Royal Wedding.
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The Conservatives may hope that even if their party performs poorly nationally, locally they might reflect the result of the last elections.
In 2001, when the Tories under William Hague suffered a second battering at the polls at the General Election, the Conservatives managed to gain control of Essex and four other key counties on the same day – East Sussex, Cheshire, Leicestershire, and Norfolk.
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In his current campaign Lord Hanningfield, leader of Essex County Council, has insisted that vast improvements have taken place in the county, which he claimed had been an "authority on its knees" when his administration took over.
If elected he has pledged to fight Government housing plans – which would see 131,000 new homes built in the county – and plough £45 million into improving Essex roads.
The Lib Dems, however, have claimed that the Tories have presided over a giant hike in council tax while selling off old peoples' homes and youth centres.
They claim their manifesto is underpinned by three important values – freedom, fairness and trust, and to this end their policies include scrapping the council tax and involve more people in the decision-making process.
Labour also promises a less-centralised style on governance at County Hall in Chelmsford, with better communication and consultation of service users, service providers and the public at large.
The party pledges to build more elderly people's residential homes, improve local bus services and match new housing with community facilities.
Nominations in North and Mid Essex (listed by district authority)
Bocking: Terrence Brooks (LD), Wendy Partridge (Green), Jean Schmitt (Con), Lynn Watson (Lab)
Braintree Eastern: Peter Braley (LD), Barbara Coutts (UKIP), Eileen Davidson (Lab), *Nigel Edey (Con), Duncan Stewart (Green)
Braintree Town: Elwyn Bishop (Lab), Graham Butland (Con), Philip Hughes (Green), Douglas Rice (LD), Heather Sheehan (UKIP)
Halstead: Christine Bayley (LD), Nelson Brunton (Green), *Joseph Pike (Con) Moia Thorogood (Lab)
Hedingham: Stephen Bolter (LD), *David Finch (Con), Robert Kenney (Green), John Kotz (Lab)
Three Fields with Great Notley: Michael Baker (UKIP), Lesley Beckett (Lib Dem), William Edwards (Lab) Kevin Peterson (Green), Roger Walters (Con)
Witham Northern: James Abbott (Green), Martin Ashby (Lib Dem), *Philip Barlow (Lab), Michael Lager (Con), Bryan Smith, (UKIP)
Witham Southern: Barry Fleet (Lib Dem), Stephen Hicks (Green), Derrick Louis (Con), Jacqueline Martin (Lab)
Broomfield and Writtle: John Aldridge (Con), John Hunnable (LD), Charles Cole (UKIP), Prudence Jones (Lab), Andrew Tinsley (Green).
Chelmer: Peter Martin (Con), David Whiteing (LD), David Howell (Lab), Eleanor Burgess (Green)
Chelmsford Central: David Lee (Con), Keith Francis (LD), John Leslie (Lab & Co-op), Douglas Coping (Green)
Chelmsford North: Delmas Ashford (Con), *Tom Smith-Hughes (LD), Joan Bliss (Lab & Co-op), Angela Thomson (Green)
Chelmsford West: Amar Bajaj (Con), *Neil Spurgeon (Lab), Ian Gale (LD), Clifford Hughes (Green), Stephen Stratton (Veritas)
Great Baddow: *Maureen Miller (LD), David Stevenson (Con), Colin Budgey (Green), Peter Dixon (Lab),
South Woodham Ferrers: Norman Hume (Con), Jennifer Goldfinch (LD), Robert Jones (Lab), Ian Roberts (Ind), Valerie Thompson (Green)
Springfield: John Spence (Con), Michael Mackrory (LD), William Horslen (Lab)
Stock: Angela Robinson (LD), *Lord Hanningfield (Con), Dawn Holmes (Green)
Abbey: David Adams (Con), Margaret Fisher (LD), Scott Harris (Lab), Peter Lynn (Green)
Constable: Roger Bamforth (Green), *Anthony Clover (Con), John Stevens (LD), John Wood (Lab)
Drury: Timothy Glover (Green), David Hough (Lab), Gwendoline Ilott (LD), *Jeremy Lucas (Con)
Maypole: *Richard Bourne (Lab), Robert Davidson (Con), Bill Frame (LD), Philippa Lane (Green),
Mersea and Tiptree: Jon Longman (Ind), Howard Mettler (Green), Audrey Spencer (Lab), Craig Sutton (LD), Christopher Manning-Press (Con)
Mile End and Highwoods: Richard Bingley (Lab), Mary Bryan (Green), Donald Henshall (Con), Anne Turrell (LD)
Parsons Heath and East Gates: *Theresa Higgins (LD), Maria Iacovou (Green), Kim Naish (Lab), Simon Smith (Con)
Stanway and Pyefleet: Hannah James (LD), John Jowers (Con), Patience Rogers (Green), John Spademan (Lab)
Wivenhoe St Andrew: Christopher Fox (Green), Jeremy Jacobs (LD), Neil Stock (Con), *Julie Young (Lab)
Southminster: *Robert Boyce (Con), Mary Feakins (Lab), James Hutchon (LD), Robert King (Green)
Heybridge and Tollesbury: Rodney Bass (Con), Norman Hunt (Lab), Jonathan King (Green), Gerald Townshend (LD)
Maldon: Michael Bentley (Lab), Michael Cole (Green), *Brain Mead (Con), Jannetta Sosin (LD)
Brightlingsea: Colin Olivier (Lab), *Derek Robinson (Con), Nicholas Scales (Green), Gary Scott (LD)
Clacton East: Victor Brown (LD), Cheryl Gerrard (Green), Fraser Leeks (Community Reps), Pierre Oxley (Con), Roy Raby (Lab & Co-op)
Clacton North: *Clive Baker (Lab & Co-op), Patricia Brunton (Green), Paul Honeywood (Con), Harold Shearing (LD), Kevin Watson (Community Reps)
Clacton West: Maurice Alexander (Lab), Rachel Brunton (Green), Christopher Griffiths (Con), Susan Shearing (LD), *Roy Smith (Community Reps)
Frinton and Walton: Charles Harrison (LD), Richard Hebborn (Lab & Co-op), *Michael Page (Con), Walter Schwarz (Green)
Harwich: Katherine Bamforth (Green), *Leslie Double (Lab & Co-op), Steven Henderson (Community Reps), Denzil Watson (Con)
Tendring Rural East: Robert Bevan (LD), John Brown (Community Reps), Mark Cossens (Con), Samuel Elliott (Green), Lawrence Payne (Lab & Co-op)
Tendring Rural West: *Sarah Candy (Con), Ann Elvin (LD), Michael Mealing (Green), David Edwin (Community Reps)
Dunmow: Michael Earley (Green), *Susan Flack (Con), Richard Harris (LD)
Saffron Walden: *Robert Chambers (Con), Joan Dawson (LD), Trilby Roberts (Green), Simon Trimnell (Lab), Barrie Tyler (UKIP)
Stansted: Sanjukta Ghosh (Green), Raymond Gooding (Con), Betty McGregor (Lab), Peter Wilcock (LD)
Thaxted: Susan Halsted (Green), Yvonne Morton (Lab), Simon Walsh (Con), Robert Wingard (LD)
IN addition to the County Council elections, two Chelmsford Borough Council by-elections are taking place on May 5, for Broomfield & Writtle and Chelmer wards.
Broomfield & Writtle: John Aldridge (Con), John Hunnable (Lib Dem), Charles Cole (UKIP), Prudence Jones (Lab), Andrew Tynsley (Green Party)
Chelmer: Peter Martin (Con), David Whiteing (Lib Dem), David Howell (Lab), Eleanor Burgess (Green Party). Key
Con, Conservative; Lab, Labour; LD, Liberal Democrat; Ind, Independent; Green, Green Party; UKIP, UK Independence Party.
* denotes councillor seeking re-election.
(2) indicates division electing two councillors