Two independent candidates have stepped forward to carry on where Keki Jessavala once flourished - fighting the big political battalions in Fleet.
They include anti roadblock campaigner Denis Gotel, whose fight to keep Fleet Road traffic moving pits him against veteran Tory John Stocks, who he blames for supporting both "tank traps" in Elvetham Road and a £2 million traffic "calming" scheme in Fleet town centre, where shopkeepers fear losing most free street car parking.
Gotel, who is campaigning to keep traffic moving through Fleet, is up against Stocks and out of towner Carol Leversha from Dogmersfield in Fleet Central ward.In Courtmoor ex-councillor Stephen Gorys is another well known independent, hoping to make a council comeback.
Ten Hart councillors, including three former chairmen, are calling it a day when the whole council comes up for re-election on May 2. Former chief citizens retiring are Charles Lynch, Peter Shoesmith and Ann Kern while current Yateley Mayor Maria Armstrong is also bowing out from the district. With former Liberal Democrats Ann and Peter Kern absent the party might have hoped to avoid another split. However, when Archie Gillespie was deselected for Frogmore and Darby Green he decided to stand as an independent.
The ward has been cut from three members to two and he will be fighting retiring LibDem members Robert Harwood and Viv Street. "I believe that if you stand for an area you should represent that area rather than party politics," Coun. Gillespie told the Star.
The Conservatives already have a six seat start with unopposed returns in Crondall, Long Sutton, Odiham and Eversley. At Hartley Wintney the present chairman, Coun. Susan Band, stands as an independent against two Conservatives and two Liberal Democrats. Nominations: *denotes sitting councillor. Yateley East: Stuart Bailey (LD), Graham Cockerill. (LD), John Davis (Labour), Joan Fullbrook (Con), Kulwant Lit (Lab), Erica Newbury (Con). North: *David Simpson (LD), Edward Dawson (Con), John Keane (LD), Keith Spendlove (Lab), Kim Spendlove (Lab). West: *Alan Hammersley (LD), Myra Billings (LD), Maxwell Fullbrook (Con), Mary Jenkins, (Lab), Sophie Shepherd (Lab). Hook: *Jonathan Glen (Con), *Andrew Henderson (Con), *Fergus Kirkham (LD), David Evans (LD), Michael, Hoffey (Con), Anthony Over (LD). Blackwater and Hawley: *Brian Blewett (LD), * David Neighbour (LD), Jim Pugmore (Con), Church Crookham East: *Peter Hutcheson (Con), Roger Carter (LD), Adrian Emmanuel (LD), Deborah Moss (Con). West: Paul Collins (LD), Rodney Fisher (LD), Lorraine Fullbrook (Con), Michael Pailton (Con). Fleet Central : *Carol Leversha (Con), *John Stocks (Con), Denis Gotel (Ind), Lars Mosesson (Green), Jeff Smith (LD). Courtmoor: *Peter Carr (Con),* Colin Hazell (Con), Nicola Dommett (LD), Stephen Gorys (Ind), Sheila Stone (Lab). North: *Stephen Parker (Con), Erica Axam (LD), William Barrell (Con), Richard Robinson (LD). Pondtail: *Sharyn Wheale (Con), Sue Fisher (LD), Hugh Meredith (Lab), Janet Pearson (Con). Frogmore and Darby Green: *Archie Gillespie (Ind),* Robert Harwood (LD), *Viv Street (LD), John Davies (Lab), Joyce Still (Lab), James Lawrence (Con). Hartley Wintney: *Susan Band (Ind), Andrew Davies (Con), Mark Fullbrook (Con), Penelope Gale (LD), Raymond Johnson (LD). Councillors returned unopposed (all Conservative): Sarah Wallis (Long Sutton), Robert Benford and Roger Jones (both Odiham), Norman Lambert and Brian Leversha (both Crondall), Hugo Eastwood (Eversley).