SNUBBED: The Great Fenland Flop as one in five town and parish council seats have NO candidates for the May 7 local elections

Welcome to Fenland.

Welcome to Fenland. - Credit: Archant

Almost one in five parish and town council seats will be vacant due to a shortage of candidates putting themselves forward for the upcoming elections.

There are no candidates for 29 out of the 158 positions (18.4 per cent). Sixty-six candidates (41.8 per cent of seats) will be elected unopposed.

Across the 12 parish councils (101 seats), there are 25 vacancies (24.8 per cent) - In Elm, only seven candidates have put themselves forward for 12 positions.

The picture is similar in Chatteris, where the decision has been made, due to a lack of candidates, to scrap the May 7 town council election.

Candidates are being returned unopposed in three wards and not one person is standing in the fourth - Slade Lode.


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Nine of the 13 seats up for grabs have already been filled according to the list of candidates declared to Fenland District Council.

Six of those standing are sitting councillors and there are just three new faces.

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Town clerk Joanna Melton said the council has the power to co-opt members to fill vacant seats and that will be looked at after the election.

Benwick Parish Council has three vacancies, Gorefield has two, Leverington has three, Parson Drove has two, Tydd St Giles has three, Wimblington has two and Wisbech St Mary has three.

Only in Newton (nine candidates will contest seven seats), Christchurch (eight candidates for seven seats) and Manea (11 candidates for nine seats) will there be a true competition.

In Whittlesey, candidates in the Delph, Lattersey and St Andrews wards will be elected unopposed. The most fierce competition will take place in Bassenhally, where five candidates will compete for three positions, and Stonald, where four candidates will battle it out for two spots.

However, it is a different picture for March Town Council and Wisbech Town Council, which UKIP hopes to seize control of on May 7.

In Wisbech, 41 candidates will compete for 18 positions. In the Octavia Hill ward, 11 candidates will battle it out for four spots.

There is also healthy competition in the March Town Council elections, where 23 candidates will contest 12 seats.

March East will be particularly interesting, with nine candidates battling it out for four positions.

If you take March and Wisbech out of the equation, 22.7 per cent of seats lie vacant (29 out of 128), and 51.6 per cent of seats (66 out of 128) will be uncontested.

CANDIDATES

PARISH COUNCILS

BENWICK (seven seats): Mark Chapman, Richard Emmitt, Reg Few, Lyn Keppel-Spoor,

CHRISTCHURCH (seven seats): William Beswick, Jill Bliss, Simon Freeland, Roger Gladwin, Geoffrey Harper, James Hughes, Peter Owen, Nigel Russell.

DODDINGTON (nine seats): Sally Cross, Ian Gowler, Ruth Hufton, Pat Jolley, Raymond Mason, John Welcher, Bill Whittaker.

ELM – Rings End Ward (two seats): No candidates. Elm and Fridaybridge Ward (eight seats): Tracey Dalliday, Charlotte Davis, Rosa Hopkin, Robert Pinnock, Phil Webb. Coldham Ward (two seats): John Brand, Neville Hopkin.

GOREFIELD (seven seats): Kitty Hall, Alan Holt, Michael Humphrey, Junnie Hunns, Martin Walpole.

LEVERINGTON (nine seats): Bryan Baker, Brian Beales, Sarah Davey, Jim Downes, Rob Nutter, Alec Sutton.

MANEA (nine seats): Ursula Berry, David Cole, Ann Desborough, Dave Drinkwater, Steve Emery, Alan Fielding, Tony Heskins, Sally Hookway, Kenneth Risbridger, Ian Woodard, Sabrina Woodard.

NEWTON (seven seats): Samantha Clark, Doug Fullbrook, David Gibbs, John Hoyles, Kay Illingworth, Robert Illingworth, Jan Kooreman, Alison Sloan, David Smith.

PARSON DROVE (seven seats): Gavin Booth, John Cook, John Hunt, Christine Killingworth, Peter Spriggs.

TYDD ST GILES (seven seats): Bill Jarvis, Rex Mallett, Geoff Mathias, Michael Taylor.

WIMBLINGTON (nine seats): Gilda Bellard, John Clarke, Pauline Crawford, Maureen Davis, Tony Knowles, Joanne Rose, Liz Wright.

WISBECH ST MARY (11 seats): Charles Allen, Barry Britain, David Broker, Peter Davis, Terry Jennings, Mark Knight, Brenda Reay.

TOWN COUNCILS

CHATTERIS – Birch Ward (three seats): James Carney, Bill Haggata, Ian Taylor. Mills Ward (three seats): James Burrow, Anne Hay, Julie Smith. Slade Lode Ward (four seats): No candidates. Wenneye Ward (three seats): Linda Ashley, Peter Murphy, Florence Newell.

MARCH – March East Ward (four seats): Katharine Bultitude, Martin Field, Nigel Harris, Bernard Keane, Sylvia Keane, Lisa Moore, Andrew Pugh, Mark Purser, Robert Williams. March North Ward (four seats): Stephen Court, Andrew Crawford, Kim French, Malcolm George, John Gowing, Jeanette Shermer, Peter Tunley. March West Ward (four seats): Andrew Donnelly, Jan French, Jane Murton, Peter Murton, Kit Owen, Matthew Routledge, Rob Skoulding.

WHITTLESEY – Bassenhally Ward (three seats): David Chapman, Martin Curtis, Colin Gale, Rita Jolley, Kay Mayor. Coates and Eastrea Ward (three seats): Shane Alexander, Ralph Butcher, Alex Miscandlon, Bob Wicks. Delph Ward (one seat): Eamonn Dorling. Elm Ward (one seat): Chris Boden, John Redding. Lattersey Ward (two seats): Alan Bristow, Steve Garratt. St Andrew’s Ward (one seat): David Mason. Stonald Ward (two seats): Carole Chapman, Dee Laws, David Lewis, Raymond Whitwell.

WISBECH – Clarkson Ward (two seats): Norman Booth, Carol Cox, Vivien MacRae, Ann Purt, Leslie Reid. Octavia Hill Ward (four seats): Stephen Brunton, Susan Carson, Paul Clapp, Kathy Dougall, David Hodgson, Samantha Hoy, Peter Human, Andrew Hunt, Ketlina Lanka, Sue Nicholson, Dean Reeves. Kirkgate Ward (two seats): Kevin Castleman, Anthony Clee, Robert McLaren, Dave Patrick, Garry Tibbs. Medworth Ward (two seats): Andrew Caharalambous, Paul Edwards, Michael Hill, Jo Reeves, Steve Tierney. Peckover Ward (two seats): Nick Meekins, David Oliver, Jessica Oliver. Staithe Ward (two seats): Irina Kumalane, Reg Mee, William Schooling, Caroline Smith. Waterlees Ward (four seats): Aigars Balsevics, Michael Bucknor, Virginia Bucknor, Alan Lay, Brenda Lay, Ray Pearson, Sandra Skinner, Carole Thomas.

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