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Council candidates ready for election scrap
3:30pm Wednesday 11th April 2012 in News
CANDIDATES for the Thurrock Council elections on May 3 have been announced, and it looks set to be an interesting one in the borough.
Five former councillors are hoping to return to the council’s chamber, and two seats which saw councillors defect from their political parties are up for grabs.
Perhaps the most interesting ward of the 17 being contested is Stanford-le-Hope West.
The seat is held by Labour’s Terry Hipsey, who was elected as a Conservative councillor, but crossed the floor in March 2009.
It is challenged by former Conservative deputy mayor Eddie Hardiman, who resigned from the position in November 2010, and stepped down as a councillor in May 2011.
Former councillor Stuart St Clair Haslam is also making a bid to return in the ward. He was a Tory until May 2010, when he joined the new Concerned Conservatives group. He switched to UKIP in March last year and came third in the race for this seat.
Stanford Forum chairman Terry Piccolo is standing as an independent, and Chris Greenaway is standing for the Liberal Democrats.
Another interesting seat up for grabs is the vacant Corringham and Fobbing seat.
The seat was held by Ian Harrison, who was elected as a Tory in 2008, but left to join the Concerned Conservatives.
He stepped down in December.
The leader of Thurrock Council, John Kent, is hoping to be re-elected in the Grays Riverside ward, and faces competition from UKIP’s Clive Broad, the BNP’s Thomas Mayhew, the Liberal Democrats’ Kevin Mulroue, and Conservative Chris Scalise.
Aside from Mr Haslam and Mr Hardiman, other former councillors hoping to return are Labour’s Roisin Hewitt, who is standing in Orsett.
Mrs Hewitt was a councillor for Stanford East and Corringham Town, but stood down before the last elections.
Conservative Barry Johnson lost his Ockendon seat to Labour’s Aaron Kiely at the last election, but is hoping to win the ward’s other seat after Tory deputy leader Amanda Arnold stepped down.
Gareth Davies lost his seat as a Conservative councillor for West Thurrock and South Stifford to Labour in 2008, but is now standing as an independent.
The Liberal Democrats are fielding candidates in every ward, up one on last year, and UKIP have candidates in 16 of the 17 wards, up from 14 last year.
The British National Party are only fielding one candidate, down from seven last year. The National Front are fielding four candidates.