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61 fight for council seats

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A TOTAL of 61 candidates will go to the polls in the Warrington Borough Council elections on Thursday, May 3.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats will be contesting all 19 seats which fall vacant on that date, the Conservatives will be fighting 15 and there will be six Green Party candidates and two for the UK Independence Party.
The council is currently controlled by Labour, with 34 seats, while the Liberal Democrats have 17 and the Conservatives six.
Three wards are not being contested this year – Great Sankey North, Latchford East and Latchford West.
But voters are going to the polls in a number of key wards.
Conservative finance spokesman Paul Campbell will be defending his seat at Penketh and Cuerdley and there is expected to be a close fight between the Liberal Democrats and Labour at Poulton North where voters have taken part in two by-elections since last summer, both won by the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats Kevin Reynolds and David Earl face strong challenges at Whittle Hall and Westbrook respectively and Liberal Democrats will be trying to wrest back the Hatton, Stretton and Walton seat from Conservative Paul Kennedy.
Labour’s Chris Vobe – son of Warrington North MP Helen Jones – is going head-to-head with Conservative leader Keith Bland in a keenly contested campaign at Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft.
Leader of the council Terry O’Neill and his deputy, Mike Hannon, are both defending their seats in safe Labour wards.
But national issues usually dominate the local elections and the most likely outcome is thought to be that Labour will strengthen their position on the council.
The full lists of candidates is as follows.
Appleton: Brian Axcell* (Lib Dem), Paul Carter (Lab), Phil Marshall (Cons).
Bewsey and Whitecross: Jeff Richards* (Lab), Judith Wheeler (Lib Dem). Birchwood: Nigel Balding (Cons), Charlie Hulse (Lib Dem), Pauline Nelson* (Lab).
Burtonwood and Winwick: Stefan Krizanac (Lib Dem), Terry O.Neill* (Lab), June Rios (Cons).
Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft: Keith Bland* (Cons), Merril Cummerson (Lib Dem), Chris Vobe (Lab).
Fairfield and Howley: Kevin Bennett* (Lab), Nicola Brent (Lib Dem), Lyndsay McAteer (Green).
Grappenhall and Thelwall: Roger Cawthorne (Cons), Ted Finnegan (Lib Dem), Mark Littler (Lab), Michael Smith (Green), Richard Vaughan (UKIP).
Great Sankey South: Sam Baxter (Cons), Roy Smith (Lib Dem), Tony Williams (Lab).
Hatton, Stretton and Walton: Dave Hockenhull (Lib Dem), Paul Kennedy* (Cons), John Park (Lab).
Lymm: James Ashington (UKIP), Graham Gowland (Lib Dems), Su Williams (Lab), Sheila Woodyatt* (Cons).
Orford: John Davies (Lib Dem), Mike Hannon* (Lab).
Penketh and Cuerdley: Paul Campbell* (Cons), Allin Dirir (Lab), Tim Price (Lib Dem).
Poplars and Hulme: Helena Campbell (Cons), Iona Gillis (Lib Dem), Brian Maher* (Lab).
Poulton North: Sandra Bradshaw*(Lib Dem), Mark Chapman (Cons), Billy Lines-Rowlands (Lab).
Poulton South: Jeff Butler (Lib Dem), Colin Froggatt*(Lab), Eveline Van Der Steen (Green).
Rixton and Woolston: Diana Grylls (Lib Dem), Lilian Houghton (Cons), Ross Lloyd (Green), Tony McCarthy*(Lab).
Stockton Heath: Laurence Murphy (Lab), Ann Raymond (Lib Dem), Stephen Taylor (Cons), Kenneth Wilson (Green).
Westbrook: David Earl* (LibDem), Michael Foxall (Cons), Judith Guthrie (Lab).
Whittle Hall: Stephanie Davies (Green), Will Hughes (Lab), Jonathan Levy (Cons), Kevin Reynolds* (Lib Dem).
*denotes sitting councillor.

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9 Comments

  1. Will this year be a watershed when those standing for election or re-election might begin to recognize just what the electorate expects of them and what the responsibilities of being a borough councilor actually entail? Or will we once again be saddled with another group of party groupies whose take on political life means little more than toeing the party line, never holding officers to account and only listening to the concerns of voters between now and the election – oh and of course all the while collecting their pay & expenses for passing themselves as off our representatives? There should be little need to remind them of what comes out of having non-interventionist local politicians…as the events of the past year have proved time and again.

  2. My understanding of a local government system is that a local authority employs paid staff to run its services on a day to day basis and that it is normally headed up by a Chief Executive, whom, I assume is responsible for ensuring that they do what they are meant to do and do it well. Much of what a local authority does is determined by various laws and national government directives, what is left, and it probably isn’t very much, is determined by locally elected and part time councillors who no doubt are guided and advised by the employees, and of those very few will have any power, just the Leader of the ruling administration and a few councillors who that leader appoints to oversee various council functions and its chief executive, the rest might do what they can, but that might be very limited, and maybe frustratingly so for some. Karl seems to think that councillors have a great range of powers to hire and fire at will, demand this and that is done, I don’t believe that they have such powers at all. Regarding pay, I understand that Warrington pays its councillors under 8,000 a year, so after PAYE deductions most will get £400 – £500 per month, so not exactly a fortune, and certainly not something that you would give up a career or well paid employment for, so I guess most are pensioners or not in employment, and maybe the electorate, most of whom don’t vote in local elections, get what they deserve/pay for. Democracy, don’t you just love it.

  3. There is nothing wrong with a good honest difference of political opinion. We should encourage rather than decry politicians when they bring their differences into the public domain, because we can then make up our own minds on the relative merits of the arguments. An absence of cosy incestuous arrangements signed and sealed behind closed doors, before they are presented to us, should the order of the day. We do not want a continuation of the levels of concealment practiced by the Council and which reached rock bottom these past few years or so. Sadly, it is still ongoing, because they plumbed the depths and it will take time to cleanse the system. Openness and transparency should come readily than it has previously to those elected to serve or employed b y the Council in what is supposed to be our democratic process.

  4. The basic annual allowance for councillors according to the latest published data is £ 7,911. Those with special responsibilities earn more via a special responsibilities allowance. For example the Leader gets £ 20,015, Deputy Leader £ 15,012, Portfolio holders £10,000, Some Chairmen £ 8,506 others £ 2002. In addition there are other allowances – Travel of between £ 243 and £ 486 is paid as is Car allowance ranging from £ 0.49/mile to £0.65/mile; Accommodation and meal allowances plus phone and child care allowances all of which are capped at rates you would hardly raise your eye brows about. As LFA says the rates are hardly worth writing home about, nor are they on a par with private industry allowances.

    Despite the meagreness of their remuneration and the welter of press and blog comments to the contrary, Warrington is fortunate in having more than its fair share of honest, diligent and conscientious councillors, who do their very best to try and make an inherently dysfunctional allegedly democratic system work (for the record I am not a Councillor, have no aspirations in that direction nor am I associated in anyway with one). Oftentimes, as has been widely reported, our Councillors have been frustrated in those endeavours by officers who have either over-stepped the mark or assumed responsibilities they do not have. Perhaps Councillors do not have a great range of powers to hire and fire but they have the more powerful advantage of a mandate by virtue of being publically elected to ensure the public good is safeguarded, and that is where I wish they would use their powers more forcefully by holding officers to account in the interest of the public at large as opposed to the “chosen few”. Heaven knows there have been enough examples of this recently, too many and more serious than most similar boroughs.

  5. Just remember to vote against your sitting councillor…… doesn’t matter who you vote for; just vote against the one who gets the money now……..They are all in it for themselves, so Lib Dum, Con or Liebour makes no difference…. vote for REAL change and show them who is really in charge

  6. Same old, same old! Things will only get worse since in our democracy OUR elected Councillors take no notice whatsoever of local opinion in their Wards. Certainly they prefer not to take well paid Officers to task to carry out the very policies that they have been elected to bring about. More hair brained scheme seem to surface to be paid for by funds that the Local Authority simply do not have much against the wishes of the electorate. It is certain that WBC is run by the Officers and uncontrolled by the ELECTED Councillors despite all that is said by the Leader and his cohorts. Has anyone seen a person seeking election during this campaign so that they can be questioned? Lots of unscroupulous literature through our doors but they don’t seem keen to knock and discuss. Until there is some Leadership in the Town things cannot and will not improve. A very disheartening picture!!!

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