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Tories to face UKIP challenge for every seat in Maidstone council elections

By Alan Smith
The votes will be counted tonight at the Maidstone Leisure Centre
The votes will be counted tonight at the Maidstone Leisure Centre

The Conservatives and UKIP are lined up to go head-to head in the forthcoming Maidstone Borough Council elections.

The two parties are the only ones fielding a candidate in every one of the 20 seats being contested.

The Liberal Democrats, currently the second largest group on the council, is fielding 17 candidates. The party is not putting anyone forward in Harrietsham and Lenham (two seats), nor in Headcorn.

The Green party has 15 candidates - it’s largest tally to date. It has no candidate in Coxheath and Hunton, Harrietsham and Lenham, Shepway South and only one candidate in the two-seat North Ward.

Maidstone council's Conservative leader Chris Garland
Maidstone council's Conservative leader Chris Garland

Labour has 14 candidates, including one in Shepway South, where Cllr Malcolm MacKay was elected as the party’s only councillor in the last election.

Five Independents are also joining the fray, and there is one candidate for the English Democrats in Shepway North.

With 97 candidates altogether, voters will have plenty of choice.

Polling takes place on Thursday, May 22, the same day as the Euro elections.

There are 55 seats on Maidstone council, which elects its members by thirds. Of the 20 seats being contested, 10 are held by the Tories, eight by the Lib Dems and two are vacant following resignations.

James Rosier, chairman of Maidstone and the Weald UKIP
James Rosier, chairman of Maidstone and the Weald UKIP

The Conservatives would need to lose only three seats to lose overall control of the council.

The outcome of the election is particularly difficult to predict this year because a number of veteran councillors with a strong personal following are standing down and not seeking re-election. They include Cllr Jenefer Gibson, 28 years in Headcorn; Cllr Eric Hotson, 23 years in Staplehurst, and former Mayor, Cllr Rodd Nelson-Gracie, 17 years in Marden and Yalding. They are all Conservatives.

The candidates:

ALLINGTON WARD

Andy Airey UKIP

Dan Daley Lib Dem

Barry Ginley Con

Marianna Poliszczuk Lab

Michael Thompson Green

BEARSTED WARD

Mike Cuming Con

Jeanne Gibson Lab

Geoff Licence Ind

Ciaran Oliver Green

Sarah Pettit UKIP

Geoffrey Samme Lib Dem

BOXLEY WARD

Derek Butler Con

Steve Gibson Lab

Hannah Patton Green

Mike Wardle UKIP

Daniel Wright Lib Dem

BRIDGE WARD

Donna Greenan Green

James Hill UKIP

Stuart Mallison Con

Sandra McDowell Lab

David Pickett Lib Dem

COXHEATH and HUNTON WARD

Brian Mortimer Lib Dem

Clive Parker Con

Stella Randall Lab

Keith Woollven UKIP

EAST WARD

Richard Coates Lab

Tony Dennison Con

Nicola Fissenden Lib Dem

Gareth Kendall UKIP

James Shalice Green

FANT WARD

Paul Harper Lab

Roger Hogg Con

Stuart Jeffrery Green

Sam Roach Lib Dem

Roy Smith UKIP

HARRIETSHAM and LENHAM WARD (2 seats)

John Barned Con

Geoff Harvey Lab

Jean Harvey Lab

Marino Michaelas Con

Eddie Powell UKIP

Janetta Sams Ind

Mike Williams UKIP

HEADCORN WARD

Peter Edwards-Daem UKIP

Jim Grogan Lab and Co-Op

Penelope Kemp Green

Martin Round Con

HEATH WARD

Richard Chapman Lab

Brian Moss Con

Irene Shepherd Green

Colin Taylor UKIP

James Willis Lib Dem

HIGH STREET WARD

Clive English Lib Dem

Jackie Hemsted UKIP

Sam Lain-Rose Con

Wendy Lewis Green

Lawrence Miller Lab

David Savory Ind

MARDEN and YALDING WARD

David Burton Con

Edith Davis Lab

Sir Nick Fenn Lib Dem

Ian McDonald Green

Ericka Olivares-Penroz UKIP

NORTH WARD (2 Seats)

Keith Adkinson Lab

Derek Eagle Green

Charles Elliott UKIP

Tony Harwood Lib Dem

Michael Hemsley Con

Thomas Long Lib Dem

Adrian Tilley UKIP

Jeff Tree Con

PARK WOOD WARD

Milden Choongo Lib Dem

Christine Edwards-Daem UKIP

Naomi Fearon Lab

Joan Langrick Green

Carol Vizzard Ind

Jade Webster Con

SHEPWAY NORTH WARD

Gary Butler Eng Dem

Simon Ells UKIP

Stephen Muggeridge Green

Steve Sheppard Con

Stephen Taylor Lab

David Williams Lib Dem

SHEPWAY SOUTH WARD

Patrik Garten Con

Theresa Lyons Lab

Douglas Perkins Lib Dem

Dave Sargeant UKIP

SOUTH WARD

Patrick Coates Lab

Wendy Hedgecock Green

Abigail Hogg Con

Derek Mortimer Lib Dem

Paul Wooding UKIP

STAPLEHURST WARD

Paul Butcher Ind

Jamie Kalmar UKIP

Robin Kinrade Green

John Perry Con

John Randall Lab

Paulina Watson Lib Dem

Key:

Con = Conservative

Eng Dem = English Democrats

Green = Green Party

Ind = Independent

Lab = Labour

Lib Dem = Liberal Democrats

UKIP = United Kingdom Independence Party

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