When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Find by date
Other ways to search
Also look for
Every single seat on council up for grabs
THE local elections on May 1 will be the most important in Basingstoke and Deane for years.
The whole borough will head to the polling stations simultaneously for the first time since 2002 - with every one of the 60 seats up for grabs.
And the winning party will have two years to shape policy on issues such as community safety, housing, leisure and economic development.
Council leader Councillor John Leek said: "It's an all-out election which will really determine who forms the administration in May.
"It's extremely important and I trust people will come out to vote."
Normally, one-third of the council is put up for election each year, except for every fourth year when Hampshire County Council holds its election.
But, this year, voters are being asked to return candidates in every one of the borough's 60 seats because of boundary changes to electoral wards.
With Hampshire County Council elections due next year, any party that seizes control of the borough council will have a two-year run before a third of the councillors face the public again.
Cllr Leek, who leads the Conservative group that has ruled for two years, said: "It's very important to us because we hope to form the administration in May so we can continue with our programme."
Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Paula Baker said this election allowed "wholesale change."
She added: "It's important because we have had two years to see and assess the administration that the Conservatives have put in place."
And Labour group leader Gary Watts said: "I think Basingstoke is at a crossroads at the moment - does it waste more money on consultants or does it spend more on frontline services?"
The Boundary Committee for England spent two years reviewing borough electoral ward boundaries to ensure the number of voters represented by each councillor remained roughly equal and the Electoral Commission accepted its recommendations in December.
As a result of the changes, a new two-seat electoral district called Bramley and Sherfield was created and the two-seat Calleva ward was dissolved, with Silchester included in an expanded Pamber ward.
Tadley's two-seat north ward was split, with half being combined with Baughurst and the other half forming the new Tadley Central ward.
Burghclere was merged with Highclere and St Mary Bourne, while in Basingstoke the biggest change was the transfer of 492 Berg estate electors from Kempshott to South Ham.