Hunts on May 5 - X marks the spot

HUNTINGDONSHIRE goes to the polls tomorrow (Thursday) – some people to elect district councillors, some in parish or town council polls and all to help decide whether to change how MPs are elected.

The exception is the St Neots Town Council poll in Eynesbury, which has been delayed for a month after the sudden death 10 days ago of one of the Conservative candidates.

All electors will be asked for their opinion for or against the Alternative Vote as a way of electing MPs. AV is a simple form of single transferable vote that is offered as an alternative to the first-past-the-post method of electing the candidate who polls the most votes on Election Day, irrespective of majority backing from the voters.

FPTP results in most constituencies in success for minority candidates and parties, though both Jonathan Djanogly, Huntingdon’s MP (2005), and Shailesh Vara, who represents North West Cambridgeshire (2010), have achieved more than 50 per cent of the votes cast outright.

Former Huntingdonshire District Council cabinet member Paula Longford, who lost her St Neots seat several years ago, will be looking to make a comeback in the district elections on May 5.

Several sitting councillors will be defending seats, but there will be new members in other wards following resignations or sitting members’ decisions not to seek re-election, including HDC deputy leader Mike Simpson, who turned 70 last month, and Mike Newman, 77, who has been a member since HDC was formed in the early 1970s (see Page 27).

Most wards are contested by Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour candidates, with the UK Independence Party offering several candidates.

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There is a single Independent candidate across the 21 contested wards – Jonathan Salt, who stood unsuccessfully against Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly in last year’s General Election on a Hinchingbrooke Hospital ticket, will stand in St Ives South.

Another General Election loser, Lib-Dem Martin Land, will represent the party in Yaxley and Farcet in the north of the district.

Among first-time hopefuls will be former South Cambridgeshire District Council chief executive Greg Harlock, who is hoping to wrest Fenstanton for the Tories from the active sitting member, Liberal Democrat Colin Saunderson.

District, town and parish council votes will be counted at the Burgess Hall, in St Ives, on Friday, May 6, followed by counting of the result of the Alternative Vote referendum.

Those standing are: (C=Conservative, Ind=Independent, L=Labour, LD=Liberal Democrat, UKIP=UK Independence: * denotes sitting councillor)

Brampton: *Patricia Jordan (LD), Marion Kadewere (L), Tina Theodorou (C).

Earith: *Philip Godfrey (C), Tony Hulme (LC), Iain Ramsbotton (L), Raymond Zetter (UKIP).

Ellington: *Mike Baker (LD), James Bevan (C), Kevin Goddard (L).

Fenstanton: Greg Harlock, (C), Angela Richards (L), *Colin Saunderson (LD).

Gransden and the Offords: Barbara Boddington (C), Keith Davis (L), Anna Hayward (LD).

Huntingdon East: Sid Akthar (C), Ruth Pugh (L), Kevin Sumner (LD).

Huntingdon North: Peter Ashcroft (UKIP), Patrick Kadewere (L), Alan Mackender-Lawrence (C), Trish Shrapnel (LD).

Huntingdon West: Michael Burrell (LD), David King (L), Derek Norman (UKIP), *Tom Sanderson (C).

Kimbolton and Staughton: Roy Benford (LD), *Jonathan Gray (C), Jenny O’Dell (UKIP), David Underwood (L).

Little Paxton: *Ken Churchill (C), Alan Cummings (LD), Steve Sweeney (L).

Ramsey: Susan Coomey (L), Ian Curtis (UKIP), Susan Normington (C).

Somersham: David Brown (L), Graham Bull (C), Michael Horwood (UKIP), Tony Jebson (LD).

St Ives South: Richard Allen (L), Paul Bullen (UKIP), *John Davies (C), Richard Oliver (LD), Jonathan Salt (Ind).

St Neots Eaton Ford: *David Harty (C), Eleanor Mason (LD).

St Neots Eaton Socon (two seats): Roger Harrison and Andy Jennings (C), Julia Hayward and *Gordon Thorpe (LD), David and Patricia Nicholls (L).

St Neots Eynesbury: Robert Moores (LD), Bill O’Connor (L), *Paul Ursell (C).

St Neots Priory Park: *Kendal Cooper (LD), Paula Longford (C), Emlyn Rees (L).

Stilton: Roger Henson (UKIP), Mary Howell (L), *Peter Mitchell (C), Chris Waites (LD).

The Hemingfords: James Finnie (UKIP), David Priestman (LD), John Watson (L), Alan Williams (C).

Upwood and the Raveleys: Robert Brown (UKIP), Robin Howe (C), Graeme Watkins (L), Patricia Worgan (LD).

Yaxley and Farcet: *Eric Butler (C), Margaret Cochrane (L), Barry Hyland (UKIP), Martin Land (LD).

There will be parish/town council elections in Grafham, Great Staughton, Holywell-cum-Needingworth, Huntingdon East, North and West, Ramsey, Spaldwick, all of St Neots (except Eynesbury, where the poll will now take place on June 9) band Yaxley.

In other parishes insufficient candidates were nominated to trigger elections to the parish council. They are: Abbots Ripton, Abbotsley, Barham and Woolley, Bluntisham, Brington and Molesworth, Buckworth, Bythorn and Keyston, Catworth, Colne, Earith, Easton, Ellington, Fenstanton, Great Gransden, Hail Weston, Holme, Kimbolton & Stonely, Kings Ripton, Leighton, Little Paxton, Old Weston, Perry, Somersham, Stilton, Stow Longa, Tilbrook, Upwood and the Raveleys, and Woodwalton.

Candidates for the town council elections in Huntingdon and St Neots (except Eynesbury) are:

Huntingdon East (eight seats): (C) Sid Akthar, Alan Cole, Stuart Hassell, Bill Hensley, Colin Hyams, Susan Mulcahy, Nigel Pauley, John Skerry; (L) David Brown, Teresa Drozdecki, Marion Kadewere, Deidre Lee, Valerie March, John Morrison, Robert Pugh, Ruth Pugh; (LD) Sara Brading, Michael Burrell, Trevor Butler, David Dransfield, Erik Jordan, Debbie Scales, Mike Shellens, Kevin Sumner; (no description) Gary Spackman.

Huntingdon North (four seats): (C) James Farmer, Alan Mackender-Lawrence, Chris Mackender-Lawrence, Jill Tavener; (L) Ann Beevor, Keith Davies, Patrick Kadewere, David King; (LD) John Morgan, Christopher Osborn, Simon Paynter, Trish Shrapnel.

Huntingdon West (seven seats): (C) Andrew Bish, Ann Blackwell, Drew Ellington, Tanya Forster, Tom Sanderson, Jennifer Sarabia, Raj Subhan; (Ind) Chris Doyle; (L) Valerie Brooker, Robert Garnett, Carole Hitchings, Jim Lomax, Martin Ludford, Sybil Tuckwood, Claire Winpenny; (LD) Jeremy Bays, Veronica Hufford, John Lilley, Paul McCaffrey, Lizzie Shrapnel, Paula Spalding, Louise Tree.

St Neots Eaton Ford (five Seats): (C) Bob Farrer, David Harty, Colin Thompson, Graham Welton, Neal Weston; (LD) Derek Cooper, Anna Hayward, Gareth Holsgrove.

St Neots Eaton Socon (four seats): (C) Stephen Davison, Chris Duck, Roger Harrison, Andy Jennings; (LD) Julia Hayward, Eleanor Mason, Oliver Reynalds, Gordon Thorpe.

St Neots Priory Park (four seats): (C) Brian Allen, Barry Chapman, Ian Gardener, Robina Hooper; (LD) Nicholas Berry, Kendal Cooper, Martin Land.

St Neots East (one seat): (C) Clare Aspinall, (LD) Christopher Young, Carl Jones (Loves Farm Community Association).