The Conservative Party in Huntingdonshire has launched its election campaign as it seeks to retain two parliamentary seats and overall control of Huntingdonshire District Council.

Senior Tories and members of the party met in Huntingdon last Thursday (April 2) to mark the official start of campaigning ahead of elections on May 7.

Among them were parliamentary candidates Jonathan Djanogly, who is contesting the Huntingdon seat he has held since 2001, and Shailesh Vara, who is hoping to win in North West Cambridgeshire, which he has represented since 2005.

Mr Djanogly said: "These are elections that Conservatives deserve to win because we have delivered. Delivering locally in terms of a low Council Tax; and nationally by creating a low-inflation, high-growth economy that is providing the jobs and strong economy that Britain deserves."

He also highlighted the increasing number of apprenticeships in the constituency, up 111 per cent from 370 in 2009/10 to 790 in 2013/14.

"This is a tremendous achievement and shows how local businesses are addressing the recruitment challenge posed by very low local unemployment levels," he added.

Mr Vara said the economy was at the centre of the elections. "Conservatives, both locally and nationally, have had to take difficult decisions and we have started the process of recovery.

"A prosperous recovery means more funds for health and other public services and it is essential that Conservatives are re-elected to finish the job."

At district level, the Tories hold 15 of the 18 seats up for grabs on May 7.

Group leader Councillor Jason Ablewhite said: "The Conservatives have been pro-active in ensuring that we drive down our costs at Huntingdonshire District Council.

"Innovation and collaboration whilst investing in the right areas have led to this award-winning and highly-respected council delivering all its services to a high standard.

"All this while keeping council tax not only one of the lowest in the country, but frozen for the last two years, with a pledge to continue freezing tax."

The Enterprise Zone at Alconbury Weald is in place, said the Conservative launch statement, to ensure the future of the area with more homes, schools and jobs.

INFORMATION: Voters heading for polling stations on Thursday, May 7 will also be asked to vote in parish and town council elections, including Huntingdon, Ramsey and St Neots. Nominations close tomorrow (Thursday, April 9).