Town and parish councils set for next month's elections
Veteran councillors and a raft of new faces have been unveiled as candidates for next month’s town and parish council elections across Telford & Wrekin.
With a total of 289 seats available on the borough’s 27 town and parish councils, electors in some wards will be spoilt for choice on when they go to the polls on May 4 – while others will not get to vote at all, as the number of candidates in some areas did not exceed the number of seats available.
Four of the five town councils will hold elections, with only Madeley failing to attract enough candidates.
However, only seven out of the 22 parish councils will have elections in at least one ward, with the remaining 15 uncontested.
A total of 35 seats will be left vacant across the borough, to be filled via co-option or by-elections at a later date.
On Great Dawley Town Council, three independent candidates have blocked Labour from securing a clean sweep of unopposed seats.
The town council is currently made up of all Labour members and most are seeking re-election, with just two, Lord Kuldip Sahota and deputy mayor Sally Lill, standing down.
While eight Labour councillors will be elected unopposed in two wards, elections will be held in the other two.
Erin Ashton takes the single seat representing Doseley Road ward, while the seven Malinslee ward seats are taken by Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies, Daniel Blasczyk, Corrine Chikandamina, Byron Cook, Raj Mehta, Barry Parnaby and Chris Turley.
In Trinity, there is one seat available with Labour candidate Ben Carter up against independent Steve Barnes.
In Dawley ward, five more Labour candidates – Zona Hannington, Stefan Heighway, Maggie Hunt, Lyndsey Parker and Ian Preece – are hoping to secure the five seats, but they are contested by two independents, Ryan James and Sam Deakin.
It is a similar situation in Oakengates, where electors in all four town council wards will go to the polls, and in three of them will be choosing between Labour and independent candidates.
Labour’s John Thompson, Shirley Reynolds and Gareth Holloway are standing for the three North ward seats, but they are contested by independent Holly Maddy.
The single-seat ward of Hollyhurst sees a head-to-head contest between Labour candidate Steve Reynolds and independent Sarah Williams.
Likewise in Middle Pool, Labour’s Mark Boylan is up against independent Dan Williams.
Eight Labour candidates are bidding for the eight seats representing Oakengates & Wombridge ward – Neil Abbott, Stella Abbott, Ernie Dabbs, Stephen Handley, Lynn Holloway, Hilda Rhodes, Gurdip Singh and Robert Wyatt.
They are up against five independent candidates – John Ellis, Mal Johnson, Claire McKeown, Garry Nicholson and Dave Poole – as well as Conservatives Pauline Jackson, Adam Karakulah, Leanne Maddy and Christine Orford.
Newport Town Council will hold elections in three of its four wards, with three seats available for each.
In the West ward, Tom King (Lab) and Bill Harper (Con) are uncontested, with the third seat vacant.
In the East ward, Liberal Democrats Sarah Syrda and Paul Crewe are up against Rodney Pitt for the Conservatives and Heather Brennan for Labour.
There are five candidates standing in the North ward. They are Conservatives Susan Bailey and Tim Nelson, Labour’s Matt Lamb, Lib Dem Mark Wiggin and independent Ian Perry.
In the South ward, the Conservatives are bidding for all three seats through candidates Nigel Dugmore, Jeremy Good and Thomas Hoof, with competition from Lib Dems Thomas Janke and Jack Ashington-Carter, as well as Labour’s Rachel Keen.
In Wellington, boundary changes will see the town council – already the largest in the borough – increase from 20 seats to 21, with the creation of the new ‘Meadows’ ward.
Three Liberal Democrat councillors are elected to the town council uncontested. They are Martyn Jobe and William Lowe in Shawbirch, and Stephen De Launey in Meadows.
Elections will be held to determine who will represent the other six wards, four of which will see Labour and the Conservatives go head-to-head.
In Arleston, with three seats available, Labour’s Joan Gorse, Emma Holding and Reg Snell are up against Conservatives Brett Murray and Gareth Thomas.
Another three Labour candidates – Giles Luter, Lionel Woolley and Mohammad Younis – are standing against Conservatives Andrew Benion, Miles Hosken and Dorothy Roberts for the three seats in Ercall.
Similarly in College, which also has three seats, Labour candidates Usman Ahmed, Lee Carter and John Latter are facing competition from Kevin Hall for the Conservatives.
In Park ward, Labour’s Paul Davis and Julie Pierce are up against Sylvia Hall and Stuart Parr, contesting the two available seats for the Conservatives.
Four Labour candidates are up for the four seats in Haygate – Crispin Barker, Graham Cook, Simon Day and Stuart Williams. Their opponents are Chelsea Benion and Naz Younas for the Conservatives, and independent Tim Wills.
In Dothill ward, four candidates are in the race for three seats. They are Conservatives Philip Morris-Jones and Lisa Morris-Jones, Labour’s Jim McGinn and Lib Dem Karen Tomlinson.
No election will be held for Madeley Town Council, with all candidates elected unopposed.
Labour’s Arnold England, Janice Jones, Jim Loveridge and Derek White will represent Cuckoo Oak along with independent Connor Furnival.
Five Labour councillors are elected unopposed to Madeley Village ward – Peter Cogings, Nathan England, Ruth Meadows, Susan Taylor and Paul Watling.
Another five Labour members will represent Woodside – Rae Evans, Stefan Heighway, Kelly Middleton, Anthony Morgan and Helena Morgan – while the ward’s sixth seat will be vacant.
Another vacancy is left in the single-seat Academy ward, which received no nominations.
Among the borough’s parish councils, Hadley & Leegomery is the most hotly contested, with elections to be held for all five wards.
Labour candidates go head-to-head with Hadley & Leegomery Residents’ Association representatives in the wards of Hadley Castle (seven seats), Hadley Manor (three seats) and Trench Lock (one seat), with both groups fielding candidates for all seats.
The residents’ association is also standing two candidates in Apley Castle, as is Labour, while the Conservatives have one candidate. There are four seats available.
In Horton ward, two independents are standing for one seat.
Other parish councils holding elections in at least one ward are Dawley Hamlets, Donnington and Muxton, Ketley, St Georges and Priorslee, Wrockwardine, and Wrockwardine Wood and Trench.
Meanwhile all candidates for the remaining 15 parish councils are elected unopposed, meaning no election will take place in those ares.
They are Chetwynd, Chetwynd Aston and Woodcote, Church Aston, Edgmond, Ercall Magna, Hollinswood and Randlay, Kynnersley, Lawley and Overdale, Lilleshall, Little Wenlock, Rodington, Stirchley and Brookside, The Gorge, Tibberton and Cherrington, and Waters Upton.