CASTLE Point Conservative Party is hoping to reclaim some seats on Canvey in the upcoming elections on May 1.

The Canvey Independent Party currently has 15 out of the 17 available seats on the island, with just Tony Belford and Ray Howard clinging on as the two remaining Tory councillors.

Bill Sharp, fundraiser for the Castle Point Conservative Association, who is also up for re-election in St James's ward, in Hadleigh, is hoping people on the island will swap their allegencies from the Independents and vote for his party.

He said: "When you consider what this borough was like when we first took over, some four to five years ago, to what we have done now, with limited increases in the community charge, I believe people should be highly satisfied.

"We hope to start making inroads back on to Canvey because I believe people have been misled by the Independents and what they promised to do.

"We think we've done a great deal to improve the area and will continue to do so."

But Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, said it was essential to have a strong opposition to fight for Canvey, which he said had previously been a poor relation to the mainland.

He said: "The Conservatives have done nothing to improve the infrastructure on Canvey, but they want to build 1,000 new homes on the island.

"Canvey Independent councillors have worked extremely hard to fight for this council to improve Canvey and for it to get its fair share.

"A vote for Conservatives would be a step backwards."

There will be no elections in Canvey West ward this year as there are only two councillors, Mr Howard and Mr Belford, representing the ward, rather than the usual three, so it will miss the vote this year.

As well as the regular elections, there will also be a by-election in Canvey South ward to determine who will take over from Natalie Derby, Canvey Independent councillor, who stood down in March due to ill health.

Across the borough there are 13 Conservative candidates, 13 Labour candidates, five Canvey Independent candidates, three BNP, three Green candidates and one from the UKIP.

In St George's ward, Clive Walter is the new Conservative candidate, hoping to take over from Elizabeth Govier, who is stepping down due to work commitments.

Deputy council leader Jeffery Stanley is also up for re-election in Boyce ward.

Castle Point Council nominations

Tom Skipp * (Con)
John Trollope (Lab)

Harry Brett (Lab)
Ron Hurrell (UKIP)
Jeffery Stanley* (Con)

John Anderson* (Can Ind)
Dorothy Best (Con)
Bill Deal (Lab)

Katie Curtis (Lab)
Colin MacLean (Con)
Anne Wood* (Can Ind)

Carole Cross (Con)
John Morgan (BNP)
Jacqueline Riley (Lab)
Martin Tucker* (Can Ind)

Peter Barber (BNP)
Michael Curham (Lab)
Mark Howard (Con)
Brian Wood* (Can Ind)

Barry Dixie* (Can Ind)
Pat Haunts (Con)
Margaret McArthur-Curtis (Lab)

Lorna Trollope (Lab)
Liz Wass* (Con)

Joe Cook (Lab)
Clive Walter (Con)

Fred Jones (Lab)
Nanine Pachy (Green)
Bill Sharp* (Con)

David Cross* (Con)
Scott Smith (BNP)
Anthony Wright (Lab)

Beverley Egan* (Con)
William Emberson (Lab)
Eileen Peck (Green)

Alan Curtis (Lab)
Enid Issacs* (Con)
Lesley Morgan (Green)

* denotes the sitting councillor