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Buoyant Lib Dems ready for fight

PUBLISHED: 13:15 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 July 2010

THE Liberal Democrats will battle to change the make-up of Great Yarmouth Borough Council in May's elections.

They hope they can add a little extra colour to the local politics scene by building on the party's success in the recent by-election for Hopton and Bradwell South.

THE Liberal Democrats will battle to change the make-up of Great Yarmouth Borough Council in May's elections.

They hope they can add a little extra colour to the local politics scene by building on the party's success in the recent by-election for Hopton and Bradwell South.

Although candidate Aleck Buchanan was pipped by the Tories he still polled 397 votes - a 30pc increase on the 2007 vote in what is considered a safe Conservative seat.

Lib Dem spokesman Simon Wright said this week his party would be looking to stand in as many seats as possible in the May 1 elections and confirmed Mr Buchanan was “very keen” to stand again.

Following talks this week it was revealed local businessman Terry Hall will not stand as a Conservative candidate for Bradwell North. It was also revealed Tory councillor Colin Hodds has not left the council, despite moving away from the area due to work commitments. However, it is unclear whether he will stand in May's elections.

Deputy leader of the council Barry Stone said the Tories would contest the traditional Labour strongholds of Claydon, Central and Northgate, Nelson and the Southtown and Cobholm wards, with candidates yet to be announced.

He added if Cllr Hodds decided to leave the council due to work commitments then local businessman and Hopton Parish Council chairman Mike Butcher would stand in Bradwell South and Hopton ward.

Former borough councillor Patricia Page will again contest the seat for Magdalen Ward for the Tories. Conservative councillors Stephen Ames, George Jermany, Bert Collins, Charles Reynolds, Pat Cook, Barry Coleman and Paul Garrod will also all be up for re-election.

Labour say it will have candidates in all seats with councillors Trevor Wainwright, Mike Taylor, Tony Blyth, Colleen Walker, Michael Jeal and Penny Linden hoping to retain seats.

The party has announced Jenny Livingstone will go head-to-head with Charles Reynolds for Ormesby ward and Gary Fox will be up against Pat Cook for St Andrew's ward. Charlie Marsden will stand in Yarmouth North currently held by mayor Paul Garrod.

If Colin Hodds leaves the council, his vacant seat would see a battle between Labour's Rex Tyrell and Mike Butcher for the Tories.

Labour leader Trevor Wainwright was optimistic that candidates for the remaining seats would be found within the next week or so.

The Green Party will also hope to make headway in May with Ian Holman standing in Claydon Ward. Mr Holman said this week his party was trying to recruit more members from the local area with a view to them becoming candidates. In last year's borough elections the Greens fielded candidates in five seats.

UKIP has also announced it will be putting up candidates. Alan Ball will stand in Cobholm and Southtown, Andy Baugh will contest Nelson ward and Gabby Baugh will fight in Central and Northgate ward. Colin Aldred, who stood in the Bradwell South and Hopton ward by-election, will contest the same ward again.

The current make-up of the borough council is dominated by the Tories with 22 seats, Labour holds 16.

Seats up for election in May are as follows, with the name of the councillor and party which currently holds the seat.

Bradwell North Ward

Trevor Wainwright (Labour)

Bradwell South and Hopton Ward

Stephen Ames (Conservative)

Central and Northgate Ward

Mike Taylor (Labour)

Claydon Ward

Tony Blyth (Labour)

East Flegg Ward

George Jermany (Conservative)

Gorleston Ward

Bert Collins (Conservative)

Magdalen Ward

Colleen Walker (Labour)

Nelson Ward

Michael Jeal (Labour)

Ormesby Ward

Charles Reynolds (Conservative)

St Andrews Ward

Patrick Cook (Conservative)

Southtown and Cobholm Ward

Penny Linden (Labour)

West Flegg Ward

Barry Coleman (Conservative)

Yarmouth North Ward

Paul Garrod (Conservative)

HAVE you a question you would like to ask any of the political parties, or the candidates? Please confine your questions to local issues and also make them short and to the point? We hope to print some of the questions and hopefully get replies from candidates. Send your questions to Election Countdown, The Mercury, 25 Regent Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 1RQ or email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk. You MUST include your name, address, and telephone number.

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