Election battle is on as Bradford Council candidates are named

Election battle is on as Bradford Council candidates are named

Election battle is on as Bradford Council candidates are named

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

The names of the 142 candidates competing for just 31 seats on Bradford Council have been revealed.

Voters will go to the polls on May 22 and anyone wanting to vote must register by May 6.

Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are fielding candidates in every ward in the local elections.

The UK Independence Party, which does not currently have any local councillors, is hoping to cause an upset and has fielded candidates in 16 wards.

The Greens have fielded 15 candidates, the Respect party has nine candidates and a party called ‘Brit Dems stop immigration leave EU’ has two.

Usually, 30 Council seats are contested at each local election, representing a third of the Council chamber.

This year, there will be 31 seats, following the death of sitting Craven councillor Michael Kelly (Con) earlier this year.

Councillor Catherine Coates, who has been chairman of Addingham Parish Council since 2011, will stand as an independent candidate for the Craven ward. Also in the running for two Craven ward seats are the Mayor of Silsden, Chris Atkinson, and Dave Mullen, chairman of Steeton with Eastburn Parish Council.

All three have lived in the Craven ward all their lives, and serve as volunteers in their role as parish councillors.

A statement on behalf of all three candidates said they believe that with the current climate of budget cuts, from both the Government and Bradford Council, Craven needs to have councillors who put their communities first rather than candidates who appear only when there is an election trying to look busy and making up for their absence over the preceding years.

Other candidates include: Craven – two seats: Christopher Atkinson (Ind); Val Carroll (Labour); Catherine Coates (Ind); Kathryn Forrest (Green); Sam Harris (Lib Dem); Andrew Mallinson* (Conservative); Luke Maunsell (Labour); David Mullen (Ind); Michael Powell (Lib Dem); Andrew Rowley (Conservative).

Ilkley ward: Peter Ferguson (Lib Dem); Brian Ford (Green); Mike Gibbons* (Conservative); Paul Latham (UKIP); Sandy Macpherson (Lab). Wharfedale ward: Gerry Barker (Conservative); Stephen Ellams (Independent); Janet Souyave (Green); Niccola Swan (Labour); Paul Treadwell (Lib Dem). *= sitting candidate.

This year the count will not begin until the day after election day - a change to the traditional overnight counts.

The decision when to hold the count is made by Bradford Council’s chief executive Tony Reeves as returning officer.

This year, the local elections coincide with the European elections and Coun Imran Hussain (Lab), deputy leader of the Council, said this was why the count was not being held overnight.

He said: “Ideally I would want to see the count carried out overnight and the results announced as soon as is possible. But both the local and the European ballot papers have to be validated before the local election count can begin.

“Council officers have advised that this could take up to six hours.”

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