Labour launches Hampshire election campaignBy Amy Taylor
February 25, 2013
CANDIDATES in the running for a seat on Hampshire County Council will be announced on April 9, ahead of the elections in May.
All 78 seats on the Conservative-led council are up for re-election, but the full list of people running to fill them will be published in the Statement of Persons Nominated.
A spokesman for the county council said it had not been confirmed who may or may not be standing at this stage, but that all names would be made public ahead of the elections on May 2.
The Labour party in Rushmoor, however, kicked off its election campaign this month, with a visit from the government’s shadow energy minister, MP Caroline Flint.
She visited North Town, Aldershot, on February 16 to launch the local Labour campaign and announce the five candidates who have thrown their hat into the ring for Aldershot and Farnborough wards.
Councillor Frank Rust will be standing for Aldershot East, Jeremy Preece for Aldershot West, Sue Gadsby for Farnborough North, Anna Townsend for Farnborough South and Leonard Amos for Farnborough West.
“It was great to meet Labour’s team of candidates for Aldershot and Farnborough. Labour will be fighting on a manifesto presenting an alternative to years of unfairness and neglect from the controlling Tories,” said Ms Flint. “I heard on the doorstep in North Town the good work done by their local councillors.”
Leader of Rushmoor Labour group, borough councillor Keith Dibble, said: “We have a good mix of experienced and new candidates and they will be working as a team to improve the quality of life of local people.”
The county council is currently made up of 51 Conservatives, 24 Liberal Democrats, one Green, one Labour and one from the local-interest Community Campaign group in Hart.
The latter, held by Jenny Radley, was the one shock result in the last county elections in 2009, wrenching the seat away from the Conservatives’ Peter Hutcheson, who gained only half as many votes in the Church Crookham and Ewshot ward.
Elsewhere, the balance remained the same, with the remaining four Hart wards retaining two Tories and two Liberal Democrats, and all five Aldershot and Farnborough wards remaining Tory.
As candidate nominations are being finalised, it is hoped that a push ahead of May 2 will ensure a higher turnout at the polls this year.
In 2009, only 9,637 people turned out to vote, out of a possible 63,535 who were eligible, a turnout of just 15% in the borough. In Hart 27,162 of a total electorate of 67,696 voted – only 40%.