EXCLUSIVE: Battle for Fenland Council 2015: All the candidates, all the wards, all the highs, all the lows, all the intrigue

Fenland Hall.

Fenland Hall. - Credit: Archant

A list of candidates for the 39 seats on Fenland Council reveals the highs and lows of the 2015 local elections- and the five who will win without a vote being cast!

Some might consider the lows to be the five all Tories- who will be spared contesting their seat as they look to be returned unopposed.

Among the highs, however, will be intriguing battles across the district – not least in March where 10 candidates will fight for three seats in one ward.

And in Wisbech it looks set to be a stormy encounter where UKIP are mounting their biggest challenge. Former mayor Nick Meekin has switched from the Conservatives to UKIP and has been left alone by other parties to take on Tory cabinet member David Oliver.

Former Tory cabinet member Phil Webb is also hoping its ‘pay back’ time as he again attempts to get re-elected. Ousted by a contentious internal party selection five years ago he has since tried, unsuccessfully, as an independent but is now wearing UKIP colours in Elm and Christchurch.


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There he will be pitched against the Conservative who replaced him, cabinet member Will Sutton.

In March other Tories who quit the party have chosen to stand as independents and their number includes former Fenland Council chairman Bernard Keane and Peter Tunley.

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Cllr Keane- at 84 the oldest candidate- has joined forces with his wife Sylvia to fight March East where council leader John Clark, cabinet colleague Fred Yeulett and former March mayor Andrew Pugh are on the Tory slate. However the strong independent and Labour challenge and a total field of 10 will at least give the electorate here plenty to consider.

But in Doddington and Wimblington some will wonder what the election is all about- both sitting councillor Dave Connor and newcomer Maureen Davies have been returned unopposed. Until recently it was thought Pop Jolley, another disaffected Tory unceremoniously removed from his cabinet post last year, may fly independent colours. In the event he decided against it.

Chatteris might throw up a surprise where, with the absence of Alan Melton who has quit – for the time being- the local political scene, his replacement Dave ‘Boy’ Green is the Conservative choice. He will be pitched against Sandra Rylance who, to many people’s surprise, won a county council seat in 2013 for UKIP.

In the Waterlees area of Wisbech most opposition strategists have chosen to give a clear run to the husband and wife sitting councillors Michael and Virginia Bucknor; only the Conservatives have chosen to oppose them.

The Roman Bank ward will be another to watch, if only to see how UKIP’s Parliamentary candidate Andrew Charalambous gets on. He has made the surprise decision to stand for the district council as well as tackling Steve Barclay for the Parliamentary seat. Two other UKIP candidates – including county councillor Paul Clapp- will join him in battle, with one Labour candidate, against three entrenched Conservatives.

At the moment there are 32 Conservatives on Fenland Council, four independents, one Lib Dem and one UKIP. Until he was disqualified last year the final member of the council was Mark Archer, formerly the independent councillor for Manea. He was disqualified for non attendance in November and the seat left vacant until next month’s poll.

All candidates are being offered the opportunity to provide a 200 word potted biography and a 200 word manifesto that we plan to published ahead of the election.

BASSENHALLY (2)

Kay Mayor (Con)

Chris Boden (Con)

Colin Gale (Lab)

David Chapman (Lib Dem)

BENWICK, COATES AND EASTREA (2)

Ralph Butcher (Con)

Alex Miscandlon (Con)

Shane Alexander (Green)

BIRCH (1)

David Green (Con)

Sandra Rylance (UKIP)

Josephine Ratcliffe (Lib Dem)

CLARKSON (1)

Carol Cox (Con)

Norman Booth (UKIP)

Ann Purt (Lab)

DODDINGTON & WIMBLINGTON (2)

David Connor (Con)

Maureen Davis (Con)

*elected unopposed

ELM & CHRISTCHURCH (2)

Will Sutton (Con)

Michelle Tanfield (Con)

Phil Webb (UKIP)

Martin Bower (UKIP)

Jane Feaviour-Clarke (Green)

Tony Feaviour (Green)

OCTAVIA HILL (2)

Simon King (Con)

Sam Hoy (Con)

Andrew Hunt (UKIP)

Kathy Dougall (Lab)

Dean Reeves (Lab)

KIRKGATE (1)

Gary Tibbs (Con)

David Patrick (UKIP)

LATTERSEY (1)

Stephen Garratt (Con)

*elected unopposed

MANEA (1)

Mark Buckton (Con)

Ian Woodard (Ind)

MARCH EAST (3)

John Clark (Con)

Fred Yeulett (Con)

Andrew Pugh (Con)

Alan Lay (UKIP)

Martin Field (Lab)

Katherine Bultitude (Lab)

Robert Williams (Lab)

Bernard Keane (Ind)

Sylvia Keane (Ind)

Lisa Moore (Ind)

MARCH NORTH (3)

Mike Cornwell (Con)

Steve Count (Con)

John Gowing (Con)

Stephen Court (Lib Dem)

Peter Tunley (Ind)

Jeanette Shermer (Ind)

Andrew Crawford (Green)

MARCH WEST (3)

Jan French (Con)

Kit Owen (Con)

Mark Purser (Con)

Jane Murton (Lab)

Peter Murton (Lab)

Matthew Routledge (Lab)

Rob Skoulding (Ind)

Simon Robinson (Green)

MEDWORTH(1)

Steve Tierney (Con)

Paul Edwards (UKIP)

Jo Reeves (Lab)

Helen Scott-Daniels (Green)

PARSON DROVE & WISBECH ST MARY (2)

David Broker (Con)

Sarah Bligh (Con)

Nicholas Poole (Lab)

Gavin Booth (Lib Dem)

Brian Sandall (Lib Dem)

PECKOVER (1)

David Oliver (Con)

Nick Meekins (UKIP)

ROMAN BANK (3)

Sam Clark (Con)

Michael Humphrey (Con)

Chris Seaton (Con)

Andrew Charalambous (UKIP)

Paul Clapp (UKIP)

Susan Carson (UKIP)

John Cook (Lab)

SLADE LODE (1)

Florence Newell (Con)

*returned unopposed

ST ANDREWS (1)

David Mason (Con)

Roy Gerstner (Ind)

Alex Oates (Green)

STAITHE (1)

David Hodgson (Con)

Caroline Smith (UKIP)

Reg Mee (Lab)

STONALD (1)

Dee Laws (Con)

Carole Chapman (Lib Dem)

David Lewis (Green)

THE MILLS (1)

Anne Hay (Con)

*returned unopposed

WATERLEES VILLAGE (2)

Brenda Barber (Con)

Algars Balsevics (Con)

Virginia Bucknor (Ind)

Michael Bucknor (Ind)

WENNEYE (1)

Peter Murphy (Con)

Dick Mandley (UKIP)

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