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Candidates named for Tunbridge Wells council elections in May

Nominations have closed for the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council elections next month.

Voters will go to the polls on Thursday, May 5, in 16 of the town's 20 wards.

Who will run the Town Hall after May? The Conservatives currently have a minority leadership
Who will run the Town Hall after May? The Conservatives currently have a minority leadership

The Conservatives and Labour are both fielding a candidate in every ward. The Lib Dems are fighting in nine seats, as is the town's home-grown residents' party, the Tunbridge Wells Alliance, formed in 2018.

The Greens are contesting seven wards and in addition there are two UKIP candidates and one from the Socialist Party of Great Britain.

Voters in Broadwater have the widest selection to choose from, with six candidates, and voters in Sherwood, the fewest. There it's a straight fight between the Conservative Bob Backhouse and Shadi Rogers from Labour.

Going into the election, the Conservatives are the largest party with 21 seats, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 12, the Tunbridge Wells Alliance with six, Labour with five, three Independents, and there is one vacant seat.

It means that although the Conservatives run the administration with Cllr Tom Dawlings as leader, they are a minority administration and since they are defending in 10 of the 16 seats, there is small room for them to make big gains.

Tunbridge Wells council leader Tom Dawlings
Tunbridge Wells council leader Tom Dawlings

One of the mostly closely watched contests will be in Benenden and Cranbrook, where Cllr Dawlings himself is up for re-election.

Here's the list of candidates standing in each ward:

Benenden and Cranbrook

Thomas Dawlings (Con)

Daniel Francis (Lab)

Lee Hatcher (TWA)

Julie Simpson (Green)

Brenchley and Horsmonden

Kevin Kerrigan (Lab)

Stephen McMillan (TWA)

Tom Mobbs (Con)

Louise Wilby (Green)


Alun Elder-Brown (UKIP)

Jamie Johnson (Lib Dem)

Penny Kift (TWA)

Anne Musker (Lab)

Adrian Thorne (Green)

Chris Woodward (Con)


Martin Brice (Lib Dem)

Stephen Burgess (Lab)

David Scott (Con)

Victor Webb (UKIP)

Hawkhurst and Sandhurst

Ana-Mari Draper (Lab)

Ellen Neville (TWA)

Patrick Thomson (Con)

Paddock Wood East

Derek Boyle (Lab)

Sarah Hamilton (Con)

Penny Peerless (Green)

Suzie Wakeman (TWA)

Paddock Wood West

Trevor Bisdee (Green)

James Cole (Lib Dem)

Vivek Gautam (Con)

Raymond Moon (Lab)

Begnat Robichaud (TWA)

Pantiles and St Marks

Gavin Barrass (Lib Dem)

Jemima Blackmore (Lab)

Dogan Delman (Con)

John Hurst (Green)

Shannon Kennedy (Socialist Party GB)


Julie Luxford (Lib Dem)

Nicholas Pope (TWA)

Sue Pound (Lab)

Sedat Zorba (Con)


Paul Barrington-King (Con)

Angie Ward (TWA)

Philip Wheeler (Lab)


Bob Backhouse (Con)

Shadi Rogers (Lab)

Southborough and High Brooms

Nasir Jamil (Con)

Alain Lewsi (Lab)

Yvonne Raptis (Lib Dem)

Southborough North

John Francis (Lab)

Brendon Le Page (Lib Dem)

Joe Simmons (Con)

Speldhurst and Bidborough

Clive Allen (Con)

Millie Gray (Lab)

Matthew Sankey (TWA)

St James

Alan Bullion (Lab)

Alasdair Fraser (Green)

Nicola King (Con)

Rob Wormington (Lib Dem)

St Johns

Mark Ellis (Lib Dem)

Thelma Huggett (Con)

Mike Tapp (Lab)

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