Candidates named for local elections

DOZENS of people have put their names down to stand in the local election in Hartlepool next month.

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There are seats up for grabs in all but one of the town’s 17 wards and 56 aspiring councillors have registered as candidates.

Nominations for the May Hartlepool Borough Council elections closed at noon yesterday and civic chiefs have released the final list of runners and riders.

There will be elections in all of the town’s wards except Elwick.

The Conservative and Labour groups have fielded candidates in all of the wards up for election.

There are 16 Labour and Conservative candidates, six Liberal Democrat candidates, eight UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidates, seven independents, one British National Party (BNP) and two candidates with no description.

It is free to stand in the elections and all of the aspiring councillors had to fill in a nomination form before the deadline signed by 10 people on the electoral roll for the ward that the candidate hopes to represent.

The council currently has 47 councillors plus elected Mayor Stuart Drummond and there are 15 wards with three councillors and two wards, Elwick and Greatham, with one councillor each.

Only one seat is contested in each ward as the elections are held on a three-year cycle with the fourth year reserved for the mayoral elections.

There is no election in Elwick as that seat was up for grabs last year.

Usually councillors are elected for four years. But due to proposed changes to the ward boundaries by the Local Government Boundary Commission, there will be an all-out election next year.

The local elections will be held on Thursday, May 5, the same day as a referendum on the General Election voting system.

There will also be parish council elections in Greatham and the Headland.

The count will be done at Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road, on the night.

Residents can only vote in local or national elections if they are on the Electoral Register.

The closing date for registration on the Electoral Register or for receipt of completed applications to vote by post is Thursday, April 14.

Meanwhile, the closing date for registration by proxy where someone can vote on your behalf, is Thursday, April 21.

The council’s elections office can be contacted on (01429) 523088.