Spotlight falls on the 'forgotten' elections

THEY have been largely ignored in the battle for seats at Westminster.

But while a grassroots army of activists and councillors are out campaigning to save the skins of their MPs or propel their candidates to the Commons, many are facing election tussles of their own.

Local council elections are being held across Hampshire on the same day as the general election on May 6 and could make a real difference to the lives of residents.

One third of the seats on Eastleigh, Winchester and Southampton councils are up for grabs as well half of those on Fareham and Gosport councils.

In Winchester, the Conservatives led by councillor George Beckett aim to defend a wafer-thin majority of one. He faces possibly the greatest political battle of his career. The Lib Dems need to grab three seats from the Tories to be the largest party; take five and they will win back the overall control they lost in 2004.

The Conservatives are defending the seats they snatched in 2006 a few months after the Mark Oaten scandal.

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Cllr Beckett is hoping the public will recognise their record, pointing to below-inflation council tax rises as well as projects such as park-and-ride and the £2m repaving of the High Street. But Kelsie Learney, the Lib Dem leader, accuses them of running down reserves.

In Southampton the Conservatives with 26 councillors are likely to retain power on the 48-seat city council as they hold just four of the 16 seats up for election. But a Labour (14 seats) or Lib Dem (8 seats) surge could reduce them to the largest party with no overall majority.

Southampton councillor Steve Sollitt has already come under fire for standing for election as an Eastleigh councillor while also serving as a Lib Dem councillor for Portswood and the party’s finance spokesman.

Councillor Jill Baston is standing down as leader of the Lib Dem group and not seeking re-election, allowing former council leader Adrian Vinson a run at her seat.

She joins councillors David Beckett and the mayor councillor Liz Mizon in quitting the council.

In Eastleigh even a shock result would not see the ruling Lib Dems lose control of the 44-seat authority.

At worst they could be reduced from 37 to 26 councillors.

But council leader Keith House and partner Louise Bloom, his Cabinet member for the environment, are both fighting for re-election.

Lib Dem mayor Pam Holden- Brown is standing for re-election in Chandler’s Ford, while her husband Terry is hoping to become a councillor for the first time in Hiltingbury.

Half of the seats on Fareham Borough Council will also come up for election but the authority is likely to remain Tory controlled.

Twenty two of 31 councillors are Conservative and ten of their seats, including that of Sean Woodward in Sarisbury, are up for election.

The rest of the council is Lib Dem.

Controversially disgraced benefits cheat Hugh Pritchard is asking voters to give him a second chance – at the age of 74. He is standing for the Lib Dems after being expelled from the party eight years ago.

Meanwhile there is all to play for on the 34-seat Gosport Borough Council where the Tories currently run the show with a minority administration of 16 councillors.

Half of the council seats are up for election. The 12-strong Lib Dem group hopes to seize power.

Comments (4)

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12:50pm Mon 26 Apr 10

southy says...

royston smith and jeremy moulton are both standing has counciler's and mp's on the same day to. when both knew in plenty of time to be able to stand down has counciler's, and have some one else name in those spots has counciler's.
think there personal greed is what both are thinking about and not in how can they best serve the people.
like they say money talks for any capitalist aka right wing, meaning money first people last
royston smith and jeremy moulton are both standing has counciler's and mp's on the same day to. when both knew in plenty of time to be able to stand down has counciler's, and have some one else name in those spots has counciler's. think there personal greed is what both are thinking about and not in how can they best serve the people. like they say money talks for any capitalist aka right wing, meaning money first people last southy

9:01pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Condor Man says...

southy wrote:
royston smith and jeremy moulton are both standing has counciler's and mp's on the same day to. when both knew in plenty of time to be able to stand down has counciler's, and have some one else name in those spots has counciler's. think there personal greed is what both are thinking about and not in how can they best serve the people. like they say money talks for any capitalist aka right wing, meaning money first people last
Denham did exactly the same when he lost to Chope so get your facts right before you judge others.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: royston smith and jeremy moulton are both standing has counciler's and mp's on the same day to. when both knew in plenty of time to be able to stand down has counciler's, and have some one else name in those spots has counciler's. think there personal greed is what both are thinking about and not in how can they best serve the people. like they say money talks for any capitalist aka right wing, meaning money first people last[/p][/quote]Denham did exactly the same when he lost to Chope so get your facts right before you judge others. Condor Man

9:41pm Mon 26 Apr 10

freefinker says...

Condor Man wrote:
southy wrote:
royston smith and jeremy moulton are both standing has counciler's and mp's on the same day to. when both knew in plenty of time to be able to stand down has counciler's, and have some one else name in those spots has counciler's. think there personal greed is what both are thinking about and not in how can they best serve the people. like they say money talks for any capitalist aka right wing, meaning money first people last
Denham did exactly the same when he lost to Chope so get your facts right before you judge others.
So, what "facts" did southy get wrong?
.
Obviously, I'm talking about this post only.
[quote][p][bold]Condor Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: royston smith and jeremy moulton are both standing has counciler's and mp's on the same day to. when both knew in plenty of time to be able to stand down has counciler's, and have some one else name in those spots has counciler's. think there personal greed is what both are thinking about and not in how can they best serve the people. like they say money talks for any capitalist aka right wing, meaning money first people last[/p][/quote]Denham did exactly the same when he lost to Chope so get your facts right before you judge others.[/p][/quote]So, what "facts" did southy get wrong? . Obviously, I'm talking about this post only. freefinker

11:58pm Mon 26 Apr 10

southy says...

the difference is freefinker is this
moulton and smith end of there council term ends this may on the same day has the general election, and the both knew this and had plenty of time to stand down from one election or the other. so another could stand in there place
where has with denham the election was called in both cases and had less than year to go in council office, has both cases the election was called early and did not happen in may when his term of councilor would of ended. if he had won the general election he would of step down from the next local election
smith and moulton have no intention of giving up the post and want both posts, i really hope the people in freemantle and highfield both vote in a liberal councilor, and both lose the general election and i dont care who wins the test has long its not moulton, even a liberal win here would be better. has for the itchen i hope it tim cutter we pretty sure now he has saved the deposit with no problem, but i think this will go back to denham or maybe the liberals the liberals over there have been picking up a number of tory voters.
i see smith last thursday when i when a public meeting open to all, in whitch all standing mps was ask to come and give a talk and answer questions from the public, only ones that turned up was the greens, liberals and the TUSC, smith i see knocking on one door got no answer then walk away he did look across to where the meeting was being held but he could not even bother to pop in for a few moments not even for a hello, and say sorry he could not stay.
now if that was me i would off nip in there and see people talk to them. because you be dealing with a large number of people and not the one door here and there.
the difference is freefinker is this moulton and smith end of there council term ends this may on the same day has the general election, and the both knew this and had plenty of time to stand down from one election or the other. so another could stand in there place where has with denham the election was called in both cases and had less than year to go in council office, has both cases the election was called early and did not happen in may when his term of councilor would of ended. if he had won the general election he would of step down from the next local election smith and moulton have no intention of giving up the post and want both posts, i really hope the people in freemantle and highfield both vote in a liberal councilor, and both lose the general election and i dont care who wins the test has long its not moulton, even a liberal win here would be better. has for the itchen i hope it tim cutter we pretty sure now he has saved the deposit with no problem, but i think this will go back to denham or maybe the liberals the liberals over there have been picking up a number of tory voters. i see smith last thursday when i when a public meeting open to all, in whitch all standing mps was ask to come and give a talk and answer questions from the public, only ones that turned up was the greens, liberals and the TUSC, smith i see knocking on one door got no answer then walk away he did look across to where the meeting was being held but he could not even bother to pop in for a few moments not even for a hello, and say sorry he could not stay. now if that was me i would off nip in there and see people talk to them. because you be dealing with a large number of people and not the one door here and there. southy

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