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Archive - Monday, 7 April 2008
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Southend Council election candidates
THE British National Party is putting up candidates for every seat in next month's Southend Council elections.
After successive elections when the far-right party has fielded only a small number of candidates, the move could help change the familiar political picture in the borough.
With support apparently growing for independents and a record number of candidates overall, the established parties are facing a less predictable outcome than they have in recent years.
In 2007, the BNP was most successful in traditional Conservative wards such as Southchurch and West Shoebury, where they polled second - but a long way behind the winners.
Tory council leader Nigel Holdcroft said: "I find it surprising the BNP think it will make a significant impact in Southend. The vast majority of its policies are issues for national and not local government.
"I would hope all the other parties will unite to show we do not want these views in Southend."
Lib Dem leader Graham Longley said the BNP's decision to fight ever yseat "a worrying trend".
He added: "We hope the electors of Southend will make it clear its policies are not wanted here."
In one marginal ward, St Luke's, ward, voters have seven candidates from whom to choose.
Overall indications in Southend are the elections may be the most closely-fought in many years.
The Conservatives are fighting to retain overall control at the Civic Centre, but it remains unclear whether rival parties would be willing or able to work together to form an alternative administration if there was no overall majority.
A LIB Dem candidate has broken her ankle just days before the campaign kicks off in earnest.
Mary Betson, standing in the marginal Prittlewell ward in Southend, is in plaster, unable to drive or walk without crutches after slipping on some stairs.
She said: "I must apologise to all the people in Prittlewell I was hoping to meet. I hope they understand I'd be getting around much more if I could."
LIST OF CANDIDATES
BELFAIRS Stephen Aylen (Con)* Gary Curtis-Wiggins (BNP) Maria Jeffrey (Ind) Teresa Merrison (Lab) Michael Woolcott (Lib Dem)
BLENHEIM PARK Ray Davy (Con) Barry Harvey (BNP) Graham Longley (Lib Dem)* Simon Morley (Lab)
CHALKWELL Lars Davidsson (Lab) James Haggar (BNP) Chris Mallam (Lib Dem) Ian Robertson (Con)* Toni Thornes (UKIP)
EASTWOOD PARK Paul Collins (Lib Dem) Helen Darcy (BNP) Raoul Meade (Lab) Chris Walker (Con)*
KURSAAL Roger Gander (BNP) Denis Garne (Lab)* Howard Gibeon (Lib Dem) Blaine Robin (Con)
LEIGH Alan Crystall (Lib Dem)* Victoria Salter (Con) Geoffrey Stringer (BNP) Helen Symons (Lab)
MILTON Tony Borton (Lab) Justine Farenden (Lib Dem) Nigel Folkard (Con) Derek King (BNP) Garry Sheen (Ind)
PRITTLEWELL David Armstrong (BNP) Mary Betson (Lib Dem) John Croft (UKIP) Mel Day (Con) Llynus Pigrem (Lab)
SHOEBURYNESS Mike Assenheim (Ind)* Jane Dresner (Lib Dem) Chris Gasper (Lab) Graham Hill (Con) John Moss (BNP)
SOUTHCHURCH Tony Delaney (Ind) David Garston (Con)* Joyce Mapp (Lab) Linda Smith (Lib Dem) Raymond Weaver (BNP)
ST LAURENCE Kevin Barrett (BNP) Mark Flewitt (Con)* Jane Norman (Lab) Jill Stone (Lib Dem)
ST LUKE'S Peter Ashley (Con) Fenton Bowley (BNP) Anne Chalk (Lab) Lawrence Davies (UKIP) Robert Howes (Lib Dem) Cristian Ramis (Green) Paul Van Looy (Ind)
THORPE Sally Carr (Con)* Bernard Chalk (Lab) Colin Davis (Lib Dem) Mike Stafford (Ind) David Webster (BNP)
VICTORIA Ian Gilbert (Lab) Stephen Jordan (Green) Alisdair Lewis (BNP) David Manclark (Con) Ronella Streeter (Lib Dem)
WESTBOROUGH James Burns (BNP) Deri Laycock (Ind) Susan Luty (Con) Michael O'Connor (Lib Dem) Marimuthu Velmurugan (Ind)* Chas Willis (Lab)
WEST LEIGH Margery Jones (Lib Dem) John Lamb (Con)* Louise Norman (Lab) Antony Winchester (BNP)
WEST SHOEBURY James Allen (Lib Dem) Liz Day (Con)* Terence Jellis (BNP) Joan Richards (Lab) * denotes the sitting councillor