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Pre-Election Review: Runners and Riders 2011

Runners and Riders 2011We've looked at the runners and riders for the elections that are due shortly. Some candidates are known to us, quite a few are not.

We know from the comments received that many of our readers enjoy these insights into the candidates. We equally know they sometimes irritate or upset the people about whom we comment. So we ask our readers to bear in mind that the comments on the runners and riders that follow are our own personal view. They're not right or wrong, they're just a personal view based mostly on our experience of seeing them in action and what we have learned.

We've only looked at the 'contested seats.' These are the seats where readers will have a choice. In many of the parish an Town Councils there is no surplus of candidates over the places available (and in some instances there is a shortfall of candidates for seats) and where this happens there can be no contest. All those that 'put up' are automatically elected, so we've not gone into those at all.

We've organised it first into Borough Council wards, then St Annes Town Council (which is the only contested Town Council in Fylde this year).

Within those two categories the wards are arranged alphabetically.

It's good to see so many candidates standing this time. In some wards it looks as though voters might get a choice of six or seven.

ELECTION OVERVIEW
==================

By way of general introduction, we think those standing as independent candidates seem a bit better organised this time. They seem to have tried to co-ordinate a bit to avoid conflicting with each other too much in wards. They are also all majoring on changing the Council away from the Cabinet system to the Committee system. That's something we've long and wholeheartedly advocated. We noticed that change doesn't seem to form an election promise from of any of the other groupings.

We also have a new party on the scene this year. 'Integrity UK' is fielding four candidates and, by virtue of a 'bye' Peter Ball has become Integrity's first councillor. He joins Wesham Town Council and we will watch his progress there with interest. Integrity is curious party and, in some ways not unlike Fylde Ratepayers, in that it is a registered political party but it has no formal policies and no whip. It exists as an umbrella for independent candidates to secure help and support if they want to join. So to that end whilst we deplore the party politicisation of Town and Parish Councils, so long as either the Fylde Ratepayers or Integrity UK remain in that state, we will regard their candidates as being independent individuals.

The main parties are represented of course. Labour has several hopefuls and, to be truthful, for the most part that's all they can be in Fylde. There have been occasions when Labour has won seats, most notably the regularly re-elected Alderman Wilf Callon of Lytham - a wily and smart operator during his time on the Council, and he was joined for a while by the late Alf Godberg from Staining. He was a solid left winger with a heart of gold and a concern for his fellow man.

Some people have told us that parties like Labour have to put up a certain number of candidates in elections in order to qualify for electoral benefits like TV coverage nationally. Whether that's right or not we don't know, but we do think the Labour candidates in Fylde will find the going hard.

The Liberal Democrats are probably starting at a disadvantage because of unpopularity at the national level. How that will translate and affect voters locally is very unclear, but we think it won't have helped. Their headline policy is to reduce the number of Councillors. Bad decision in our view. It will probably pull a few votes from non-thinking people in, but as we've said many times, Councillors are like Doctors and nurses, you can't have too many of them. If the Lib Dems are worried about efficiency they should move closer toward a dictatorship (which is most unlikely to suit them) and if it's the costs they are worried about, then they could promise not to take the allowances, or to donate them back to the Council or to spend them within their wards. Reducing the number of people who can speak on your behalf is not the way to go.

The Conservatives seem very fearful this election. We're not altogether surprised by this.

Their main focus seems to be on pulling in the farming vote in the hope of making inroads into the rural area that is mostly the province of independent councillors. They also plan to freeze council tax next year as well, but we thought that was a requirement of the Rt Hon St Eric Pickles MP who seemed to say Government would pay the increase from general taxation this year if councils didn't levy an increase themselves next year. More locally the evergreen and vote-winning policies on litter and dog control are being wheeled out again to tempt voters to support them.

We heard it said by a reputable source that word had come out from Conservative high command to make sure there were candidates in all seats in Fylde, partly to make the opposition work harder, partly to take votes from others and partly to hope someone extra might get in, and this has resulted in a lot of what are known as 'paper candidates' - where the proposer does little more than register their name for the election. We've no way of checking that, but there do seem to be quite a few names that are either unknown to us or standing in places that we wouldn't have expected to see them.

One member of another group (perhaps mischievously) suggested to us that several of the Conservative potentials had been told all they had to do was to put their name forward and to appear and vote as instructed for at least five meetings a year to be able to draw their Councillors allowance, all the canvassing and leafleting would be done for them by the party team.

Even with the slating we have given the performance of the Commissar and his colleagues over their term of office, we find it difficult to believe that something like that would be true, but it does go to show the sort of rumours that spread abroad as the race gets under way.

And the rumour mill will get worse of course as we get nearer to the day.

There are 11 councillors stepping down this year (mostly Conservatives). The whole of Heyhouses Ward stood down for example, so the new Council is likely to have lost a lot of experience and will have many new faces whoever gets voted in.

GONE ARE:

John Bennett - Kirkham war-horse of a councillor who knows a lot of common sense and was prone to speaking his mind. Won as an Independent last time and then joined the Conservatives. We preferred him when he was an Independent and not constrained by party regulations into what he should say and how he could vote.

George Caldwell - Fairhaven's grand old grandfather of the Council. A real gentleman with proper old-fashioned values. Never afraid to speak against the party line when he felt the need. He hasn't been well for some time and is standing down. We're very sorry to see such experience and independence lost to the Council.

John Coombes - Heyhouses' former autocratic leader of the Council. Personally as nice a man as you might want to meet. Politically far too ambitions for a conservative place like Fylde. He cost taxpayers a great deal of money during his term in office, he also polarised opinions, and politicised the officer class.

Pat Fieldhouse - Grand Dame of the Conservatives. One of the most human of councillors, for whom the welfare of others was a primary concern. Like George Caldwell, she is old style with proper, old fashioned values. We were shocked when we saw her role in the Melton Grove issue and found it completely out of character for her. It marred an otherwise unblemished record of care and concern for those who elected her.

Craig Halewood - Heyhouses' councillor but as far as we could tell, lived in Blackpool. We had very limited dealings with him and only heard him speak once in the four years he was in office. Seemed to be a pleasant chap, but not very effective as a councillor - at least not in the public side of things.

Keith Hyde - Heyhouses' councillor who was very much in the background. Has worked with residents on the Waddington Park scheme, but in our view he was the worst chairman of a Scrutiny Committee we have seen. Completely ineffective in that role except for managing procedural matters. His chairing of what should have been the inquiry into the StreetScene debacle was a public disgrace. We wondered if it was an intentional damage limitation exercise on his part. Not our sort of Councillor at all.

Janine Owen - Warton's own first lady. Set out her stall with a really strong campaign in the first instance, was swept to office as an independent councillor, and has been working hard ever since. Of all the Councillors that are leaving we're saddest to see her go. And that's despite the fact that we disagreed with a lot of the things she supported and voted for. She had the youngest outlook of any of the Councillors and retained a very positive can-do approach whatever the odds. Also has strong moral convictions about what is right and wrong and was never afraid to speak her mind. She would listen to your views carefully and then calmly and politely tell you why she did, or (usually in our case) didn't, agree, and why she would be voting that way. Solid integrity, never a sign of two faces, nothing hidden behind your back, open and honest. A read hard worker and concerned for human aspects, she had the potential to be come a very revered councillor if she had been able to continue. But a change in her personal circumstances means she can't give the 110% she wants to deliver for her electorate - and that reason for standing down is only further evidence of what we are losing. We regard her going as great loss to the future of the Council and hope that she might yet return if her personal circumstances change in the future.

Barbara Pagett - Ashton Ward councillor who was originally swept to office on a huge tidal wave of popular support for leading the public opposition to the sale of a quarter of Ashton Gardens to Safeway. Subsequently beatified by counterbalance for standing up for her principles against the Conservative party line on a matter of conscience (the introduction of the dreadful Cabinet system), a decision for which she was thrown out by the Conservatives. She has been a good councillor with a deep concern for the human aspects and strong moral convictions, but never quite seemed to understand how to make things happen in concert with others, and struggled for much of the time - especially in the early days - with a schoolmistress style of lecture / presentation that some found irritating.

Simon Renwick - Wesham's 'enfant terrible'. Hugely politically ambitious, always outspoken and deeply Conservative. He was - hated is probably not too strong a word for it - by some of the other councillors. That said, we found him willing to discuss issues rationally and without the rhetoric for which he was better known. Did himself a lot of damage with what several saw as an arrogant approach to the electorate on some occasions, and, of course, the pornographic images on the laptop affair damaged him beyond repair and cost a decent I.T. man his job at Fylde. He will no doubt be better suited to the metropolitan circumstances in which he now moves.

Paul Rigby - Warton's jovial, popular, and long serving councillor. Little in the way of harm in him, and was probably a moderating voice within the Conservative group, but he was not always up to the job he was given - especially when he was Finance Portfolio Holder during the accounting and StreetScene troubles.

Roger Small - Kilnhouse's silver tongued, smooth talking, easy going member. He oozed apparent reasonableness, but in our experience that sometimes masked an inability to grasp (or at least a willingness to deal with) detail. Tried to lead the council into the disastrous Growth Point Bid scheme which, fortunately we managed to keep apart from.

ST ANNES TOWN COUNCIL
The St Annes Town Council will also be radically changed. They were seven, and they have an extra five places allocated this year. Furthermore,  two of the founding group members, Jill Sumner who was elected last time and Arnold Sumner who was elected twice, are stepping down.

With no disrespect to (the slightly more demure) Jill at all, we are especially sorry to see Arnold go. He thundered out the call for the Town Council to abandon what would have been a huge rate increase if St Annes had taken on the open spaces maintenance from the Borough Council on the terms offered. He oozes practicality from every pore. As we have said before, he has no party allegiance, seeks favour from no-one and is truly an independent mind and spirit - an ideal Town Councillor in our view. It will prove easier for the tax increase to revisit us if we don't find someone to replace his independent view on the Town Council.

But with those two stepping down, it means there will be at least seven new faces for the existing five (if they are all re-elected), so we can expect significant change there as well.

Sadly, many of those standing for the Town Council this time have chosen to stand as the representative of a political party. We deplore the party politicisation of Town and Parish Councils. We believe Town and Parish councils should be populated by candidates and eventually councillors who are chosen by their community as individual people. We will not support anyone standing for election to a Town or Parish council where they represent and are subject to  set party policies and / or a voting whip. We should be electing councillors not politicians.


And so, to the runners and riders. Fylde Borough first...

ANSDELL WARD- FBC 3 seats available
==============================


AITKEN, Benjamin Ian.
886 votes (out of 3413) last time. Topped the poll in the 2007 election for Ansdell. Caused uproar at his first Council meeting where he made an overtly political speech at the right end of the spectrum about unemployed young people who were not in education training either. At least one FBC councillor walked out during it. Has become more circumspect since. On a one to one basis he can talk for England - though some of our readers suggest he is better at that than listening. Became embroiled in the Melton Grove debacle and might struggle with some because of that. We've heard him speak strongly in support of protecting farmland.

EAVES David Russell
810 votes (out of 3413) last time. Third place in 2007. Took over as Conservative Leader partway through the term and has tried to send the council in a much less confrontational direction which we applaud. He seems a genuinely nice man and has all the right qualities, but he was the councillor who proposed the sale of Melton Grove and linked it to the grant to Lytham Hall at Cabinet even if he did change it at Council. We get the impression he would do better if he had better support behind the scenes from some of his colleagues.

REDCLIFFE Richard Verran
Unknown quantity and not know to us at all. Said to be a former and very well respected head teacher of a local school. Believed to be quite new to politics. Likely to do well if his pupils are of voting age we guess. Lives out of the ward, which can be a problem for some voters.

SHERWOOD Marjorie Janet
Stood for Labour in Ansdell in 2007 and returned 335 votes coming fifth out of five. Stood for Labour at the County Council election where she came fourth out of four, so unless Ansdell has changed a lot.....

SINGLETON Ben
Another Labour hopeful. Not known to us at all but from outside the ward.

STEPHENSON Peter James
Another Labour hopeful not known to us,

STRUTTE Matthew John
Another new name to us. Liberal Democrat

TUPLING-PREST Paula
555 votes (out of 3413) last time. Fylde Ratepayers candidate. She was a Fylde councillor several years ago before bringing up a family here. Stood in Ansdell in 2007 and produced a creditable 555 after David Eaves' 810 votes. Fylde Ratepayers have changed from being the Fylde Ratepayers Association into Fylde Ratepayers and are no doubt hoping the new name will bring better fortunes for them.


ASHTON WARD - FBC 3 seats available
==============================
DAVIES John Raymond

698 votes (out of 3966) last time. Topped the poll in Ashton last time. Very popular and well known. Almost certain to do well. Leader of Fylde Ratepayers group.

FORD Tony
605 votes (out of 3966) last time. Liberal Democrat with more pictures in the paper than anyone else we know. Also Town mayor of St Annes Town Council (and that has something to do with the pictures). Likely to do well if the Lib Dems are not too damaged by the national position. Hard working councillor.

GOODMAN Gail
Conservative. Not known to us at all. The conservatives have let this ward go since de-selecting the late Collin Walton. It used to be one of their most active wards and generated a lot of cash from events and so on. We doubt the infrastructure is there to provide the impetus for them to do well this time round.

GRADDON John
Liberal Democrat. Has tried before. Name crops up quite regularly. Reliable party worker who often stands for election but never quite makes it.

NASH Barbara Ann
Not know to us but reputedly the hub of at least some Conservative social life in St Annes. Her husband is also standing in another ward. Sounds energetic and active and thus might have a wider circle of potential voters.

RILEY Ellie
Another Conservative not know to us. There is danger in fielding candidates for every seat in a ward, it can split the vote and make it easier for others to win.

SAVIC Peter George
New to standing for the Council but not new to the issues. Led a very effective protest over the disposal and redevelopment of North Beach Car park and has taken an increasing interest in local matters including the Heeley Road Hostel and Melton Grove. Runs a successful telecoms business. Good thinker and impressively, frequently thinks outside the box that others are constrained by..


CENTRAL WARD FBC 3 seats available
==============================
CRAIG-WILSON Fabian.

516 votes (out of 2361) last time. Conservative on both Fylde Borough and Lancashire County Council. Chairs a Scrutiny Committee and did one of the best scrutiny jobs we've seen at Fylde. Seemed to be willing to stand up for, and stay with, her principles most of the time. Stuck her neck outside what appeared to be the party line on the Special Expenses issue and went up in our estimation for doing so. But we were sorry she was not able to stay long enough for the recent vote on Melton Grove at Council, we think her absence probably caused the decision to sell it.

FAZACKERLEY Susan Mary
540 votes (out of 2361) last time. Conservative returned many times so she must be doing something right. Now Deputy Leader of the Conservative group. We have known her since she first became a member of Fylde Council a generation ago, and always thought she was a Councillor worth listening to, but in recent years we have been less impressed, as indeed, she probably has been with us.

NASH Edward John
Conservative. First time standing we believe. We understand he is the husband of Barbara Nash who is standing in Ashton Ward

RAMSBOTTOM John Francis
Independent candidate. New to standing for the Council, but rose to fame some years ago as part of the successful campaign to save the former college building on the corner of St. Thomas' Road from demolition. He is an educationalist and has links to businesses in the community. Mentored an under 16 school team that won the under 16s prize in the recent competition where the children form a company and operate as a business.

WHITEHEAD Bill
Integrity UK party co-founder and candidate for election. Shot to fame when the pools closed and he alone caused St Annes Town Council to hold a public poll of voters to demonstrate opposition to the closure. He sees angles that others may not see and will get involved to sort out what he sees as injustice. A great family man, he is very driven by a strong will, and is usually very outspoken in 'saying it like it is' If elected he will be a very independent (and probably quite loud) voice on the Council.


CLIFTON WARD FBC 3 seats available
============================
DAVIES Len

Conservative elected (but on a very small majority) at the recent by-election following the death of the much revered Bill Thompson. Still finding his feet at Fylde.

DUFFY Charlie
Independent candidate. Quiet and thoughtful chap with an excellent brain and ability to plan well. We think he has the potential to be a very good councillor and just the sort Lytham likes. He's also the husband of Emma Duffy who exposed the scandal of the disposal of Melton Grove.

FULFORD-BROWN Richard Anthony
739 votes (out of 3253) last time. Conservative with close links to the south Fylde railway group (or at least his picture is always in the paper about that matter). Probably has links to a lot of other local interests too. Has a mixed career so far and is acquiring something of a maverick reputation. We think he will have pleased and offended in equal measure, so his chances are probably not as good as they were last time around - but we could be proved wrong of course.

HOPWOOD Ken
725 votes last time. Independent councillor. Stands ready to assume the mantle of the first class former Councillor Ron Wilson who was hugely respected for the effort he put in on behalf of the people he represented. He has an absolute grasp of detail and, now he has begun to understand how the Council works, we think he will go on to be a great councillor. We can't imagine that he will not be re-elected.


ELSWICK WITH LITTLE ECCLESTON WARD FBC 1 seat available
==================================================
CARRICK Christine Anne

Conservative hopeful. Don't know her but she has no chance at all of being elected.

HAYHURST Paul Joseph
Cast Iron case to win. Has represented the area since time immemorial it seems. Welded into the fabric of his community and hugely respected by them he fights like a tiger for their interests - and usually wins on their behalf. Beatified by counterbalance for winning the case set against him by Fylde's Chief Executive after the disastrous pool closure Council meeting of 3 March 2008. Elected a County Councillor as well in the last County elections. He's the best orator on Fylde Council and has a first class brain and an eye for a headline quote and a terrific grasp of figures. It's no contest - though we know he won't take the people of his ward for granted.


FAIRHAVEN WARD FBC 3 seats available
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DALMASSO Amanda Victoria

Conservative candidate. Businesswoman with ice cream interests (and that's a tough game to be in - believe us). Not known personally to us but reputed to be independent of mind and strong willed. And if so that's likely to cause ructions within the party if she disagrees with policy votes. If she is elected and we suspect she has a good chance, we look forward to seeing her in action.

DONALDSON David Grieve
Unknown to us altogether.

EASTHAM Richard Kevin
732 votes (out of 2981) last time. Fylde Ratepayers councillor. Thoughtful and small c conservative in approach. Civil and polite in style. Seems to work better in the background and behind the scenes rather than in the public eye. Strong on planning and architecture issues. Experienced councillor.

FIELDING Bob
Elected to St Annes Town Council in a mid-term by-election and now standing in the same ward as a Liberal Democrat for a Fylde Borough Council seat, he is a slow and steady pair of hands. Thoughtful and considered in his dealings he is the sort of chap that forms the backbone of any organisation.

LITTLE Cheryl Doreen
745 votes (out of 2981) last time. Fylde's own answer to Charlie Dimmock. A free-thinking Boudicea type with a huge heart and great interest in people. Exceptionally well known and very popular it's difficult to imagine her not being elected again. We find her less impressive in the technical and presentational aspects of her Cabinet role, but she ought to do well on the strength of her personality.


FRECKLETON EAST WARD FBC 2 seats available
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LAMB Faye Samantha

Conservative and not known to us at all. A resident of Great Eccleston (which is in Wyre Borough). To us, that has typical hallmarks of a paper candidacy but we may be doing the lady a disservice as we don't know the facts.

LANCASTER Cathryn Ann
Another Conservative lady not know to us, but she is local to Freckleton

MULHOLLAND James Kiran
509 votes (out of 1676) last time. Independent (although Capital C Conservative in many of his views), he is a well established councillor with firm convictions but quiet and moderately spoken in style. His manner is one that would be at home in any traditional English pub. He has an excellent brain and is a strategic thinker, well able to handle concepts and policy. He is also a first class advocate for the causes he represents. Like Cllr Janine Owen, we don't always agree with him but we have huge respect for his ability, and we imagine the people of Freckleton will share this. We'd be surprised if he was not re-elected.

THRELFALL Tommy
628 votes (out of 1676) last time. Standing without party colours this time, he was elected an Independent last time but 'crossed the floor' to join the Conservatives after the election. Since them, he rose through to a Cabinet Portfolio Holder position in the David Eaves reshuffle. Many people thoroughly disapprove of this sort of behaviour. We don't approve ourselves, but we have heard him say that he felt better able to represent and achieve things for his electorate as part of the ruing party than from outside their tent. This is an honourable intention, but whether the people of Freckleton will take exception to such infidelity is another matter. He is widely known and liked in Freckleton and works very hard for their interests. The fact that he is not standing as a Conservative when he has been happy to take their whip in recent years might serve to illustrate what he thinks of their chances of success at this election.

FRECKLETON WEST WARD FBC 2 seats available
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FIDDLER Dr

726 votes (out of 1557) last time. As with Cllr Threlfall, Trevor Fiddler also crossed the floor and became a Conservative after winning as an independent at the last election. This time he is standing again as an Independent. A great strategist and experienced Councillor, we have seen his star grow over the time he has been on the Council. Formidable on planning matters, and a good orator who uses mental ju-jitsu to unsettle opponents (He will often begin by appearing to advocate exactly the opposite of where he plans to end up). Our experience of him suggests he is absolutely Conservative (with a large C) to the core irrespective of his electoral description. His position on Melton Grove was classic. He was driven by Conservative policy which was that Councils should not provide social housing, therefore he had no hesitation in deciding it should be sold. He is honest - sometimes brutally so - on policy matters. His manner is quiet and he moves into a very impressive slow and deliberate style of delivery that captivates those listening when he is really trying to make a point. (and usually does so). It was largely down to him that Fylde backed away from the Growth Point Scheme and the Multi Area Agreement. He is single handedly driving planning at Fylde in a new, and more popular direction, so even with all his faults, we have a lot to be grateful to him for. Whether people are happy with his political infidelity is a matter for Freckleton to decide.

GLEAVE Nicholas
Standing as a Conservative, this is another one out of the woodwork (this time Wrea Green's woodwork) that we know nothing of.

KING Sophie Michelle
And another Conservative, but this time from Lytham.

RIGBY Louis
701 votes (out of 1557) last time. Independent. Former small scale builder. Widely known and well respected Councillor with a heart of gold and solid common sense. Extremely practical approach and traditional family values. It was Cllr Rigby, alone amongst the Directors of Melton Grove, who stood out and refused to sign papers to transfer his directorship to a property developer. Like a rock he withstood the pressures applied to him to do so. In that he has earned our great respect, and we hope the people of Freckleton will value the honest, practical integrity that he brings to the Council on their behalf.


HEYHOUSES WARD FBC  3 seats available
=================================
FIELDING Patricia Anne

Liberal Democrat. Wife of Bob Fielding who in standing in Fairhaven Ward. She is a local activist and pretty much clued up in the local political scene. Has stood several times before in Fylde, but never quite made it. Solid reliable party worker.

GOODRICH Nigel
Conservative. Not known to us.

HARRISON Beverley Susan
Liberal democrat. We know Beverley Harrison of old - she was a Councillor back in the pre-Cabinet days when Fylde was a proper council. We knew her to be a hardworking and honest councillor with all the values of a true liberal democrat. Probably is, or at least was, on the green edge of the party.

WILLDER Viv
Conservative. First time in an election but well known in the area because of her association with the PACT meetings which she chairs, she must be a leading contender in Heyhouses which last time returned three Conservatives. We believe she can be independently minded and outspoken - which might make life interesting for her if she is elected.

WOOD Peter
Conservative. Stood unsuccessfully in the Fairhaven Town Council By-election and caused some controversy amongst other candidates there if we recall the situation properly.

KILNHOUSE WARD FBC  3 seats available
=============================
AKEROYD Christine Elizabeth

621 votes (out of 3287) last time. Well established Conservative but unused to as much competition as she will see this time, we wonder if she could be one of the casualties. We know little of her ward activity, but although she has moved up within the responsibility stakes, she has little to say at Council meetings and does not appear to do much more than be there and vote.

ARMIT Timothy William
Conservative. And a surprise entry into the race for us. He is one of the chaps who was part of the Businessman's Group who were trying to take over the management of St Annes Pool when the Commissar had decided to close it. We seem to recall a couple of letters he wrote to the Express about it and he was very critical of how the Conservatives had gone about it. Maybe he's now looking to effect change from within. We suspect he will work hard at getting elected.

ELLIS Richard Keith
Independent. This is the chap who outbid the YMCA to run St Annes Pool by making the most financially advantageous offer to the Council, but his offer was turned down on the recommendation of, amongst others, Christine Ackeroyd who said it was, in effect, not robust enough. She is also standing for election in Kilnhouse. We've seen some of his election literature and we think it is very powerful. He won't do anything half heartedly and we think he has a good chance.

HARVEY Neil
Conservative. Not well known to us but he has a background in the Civil Service (including a MPhil in Political Philosophy no less) His work has focused especially on the needs of children and young people and he is involved with education and a Parent Governor of LSA High School. Likes serious classical music and opera and is a keen sportsman but (sadly) supports Arsenal. Community minded and able, he sounds like a good candidate.

HENSHAW Karen Maureen
Liberal Democrat. Widely known and well connected popular JP who is a pillar of the community and elected by Kilnhouse residents in the recent by-election, so she must be toward the front of the pack. Has the sort of personality that is not likely to be dented by the downtrend from the Lib dems nationally.

WHITEHEAD Rick
Integrity UK. Stood under the UKIP banner and contested the County Council elections in May 2009 and beat both the Labour and BNP candidates. Joined Integrity when it was formed and now standing in Kilnhouse. Son of Bill Whitehead, and likely to pull (at least) the youth vote in Kilnhouse we think.


KIRKHAM NORTH FBC  3 seats available
==========================
BECKETT Keith

569 votes (out of 3,423) last time. Independent. Plain speaking, practical Councillor who works from common sense and not strategy or policy.

HILL Michael Paul
Conservative. Not known to us. From Lytham St Annes.

HODGSON Paul Anthony
Independent. Not known to us but he is a member of Kirkham Town Council, so he has some experience of local government already.

OLDFIELD William Edward
408 votes (out of 3,423) last time. Conservative, but not otherwise known to us.

RHODES Ted
Conservative. Local man, but not known to us.

SILVERWOOD Elaine Margaret
852 votes (out of 3,423) last time. Independent. Owner of the famous Silverdell bookshop and ice cream parlour in Kirkham that attracts big name celebrity book signings and lots of publicity to Kirkham, she topped the poll in 2007 as her first time election, and has grown greatly in stature as a Councillor since then. There is no contest that she will repeat the performance this time. She has the all makings of an excellent councillor as her experience grows.


KIRKHAM SOUTH FBC 2 seats available
================================
CARRICK Sarah Louise

Conservative. Local, but unknown to us.

DAVENPORT Dennis John
Labour. Stood in Newton last time. Labour doesn't do well in Fylde even when they're as nice as and sensible and thoughtful as this chap is.

HARDY Peter
357 votes (out of 1387) last time. Independent. Absolutely walking living breathing solid common sense on legs. Plain speaking and not afraid to speak up, he is as good a local councillor as you could wish for.

MITCHELL Barry Dr
189 votes (out of 1387) last time. Conservative. Member of Kirkham Town Council, and local man, but otherwise unknown to us.

OADES Liz
595 votes (out of 1387) last time. Kirkham's first lady, the undisputed Queen Elizabeth Oades of Kirkham is also a Kirkham Town Councillor and Lancashire County Councillor. A solid, really hard working, absolutely committed Councillor with a strong social conscience and a clear sense of right and wrong. We don't always agree with her views, but we greatly respect her honesty and openness. Absolutely committed to the people of Kirkham and Fylde. They couldn't wish for a better councillor and we would be amazed if she was not re-elected.


MEDLAR-WITH-WESHAM WARD FBC 2 seats available
===========================================
BALL Peter Rodney

Co-founder of 'Integrity UK'. A local businessman who, to us, seems to come from a position toward the Conservative right. Already placed on Wesham Town Council as Integrity's first councillor, and now looking for a place on Fylde Borough, he has been known to us since the founding of Integrity. Can be outspoken and with almost obsessive attention to detail, he is terrier-like and will not give up on something he has got his teeth into until he has shaken it to death. He has a very good head for figures and willingness to ferret deep into problems to understand them. His analytical mind could be a great asset if elected.

CLAYTON Alan David
403 votes (out of 1725) last time. Independent. A charming, easy going, mild mannered, willing, community-minded member of Wesham Town Council who is well known in the area and should do well.

HOWARTH Martin
Conservative. Also a member of Wesham Town Council. Figured prominently in the Wesham Action Group that saw off the Metacre development proposal on farmland north of Wesham. Must have a chance.

JONES Stuart Robert Andrew
Conservative. Local man, but not known to us as yet.

NULTY Linda Jane
519 votes (out of 1725) last time. Independent. A very human, caring, Councillor with a strong sense of justice and fair play. Works hard on behalf of Wesham and we'd be surprised if she was not re-elected. Also a member of Wesham Town Council.


NEWTON AND TREALES WARD FBC  2 seats available
===========================================
BUTLER Stephen David Anthony

Conservative. Not known to us

COLLINS Peter
686 votes (out of 1588) last time. Independent. Evidently very popular, but with an unremarkable performance in Council meetings, we think he must be focussed on the needs of his electorate, and that brings good results.

MACKINTOSH Colin Edward
Conservative. Local man but not known to us.

SPEAK Heather Ann
724 votes (out of 1588) last time. Independent. Very well known and popular in her area she is likely to be one of the two Councillors returned by this ward.

WINLOW Pam
Liberal democrat, Diminutive parcel of dynamite. Sometimes acerbic, always incisive, clear thinking and - some might say - dangerous politician. Wife of Prof. and County Councillor Bill Winlow whose apparently easygoing exterior makes a complete foil for the sharp wit and wisdom she can bring. Whether her style will suit Newton and Treales remains to be seen, but she won't lose out because of lack of effort.


PARK WARD FBC  3 seats available
============================
CHEDD David Mark

872 votes (out of 3958) last time. Independent. Rising star amongst the independent councillors, lives outside the ward but must be popular to be elected last time on the first occasion. Should benefit this year because the conservatives who came first and second have moved or are not standing. As a known candidate he is likely to benefit. Hard worker, clear thinker, growing in confidence on the Council. Set to make an excellent councillor as he gains even more experience.

COX Simon Peter Leigh
Conservative. Local man but not know to us.

LARDNER Matthew
Conservative. Local man but not know to us.

PRESTWICH Dawn Stansfield
Previously a Central Ward Councillor she has been a Fylde Councillor since the year dot. We understand she might have moved following the sad death of former Councillor 'Gentleman' John Prestwich. She is old-school conservative. Polite, restrained, impeccably mannered and very human, but perhaps couldn't be described as one of the more effective of Fylde's Councillors.


RIBBY-WITH-WREA WARD FBC 1 seat available
======================================
ANDREWS Frank Roland

292 votes (out of 559) in the by election last July. Conservative. Not well known to us and, because most of the Conservative discussion takes place behind closed doors and they vote like puppets without speaking in Council meetings, it's not so easy to get to know them these days. We do know he edits the exceptionally good village website.


WARDELL Janet Lynn
290 votes (out of 638) last time and 256 votes (out of 559) in the by election last July. Formerly a Conservative but not selected when Frank Andrews was chosen as the by-election candidate; she crossed the floor in the opposite direction to most and is now independent. Came very close to winning in the by-election and put up a creditable performance on the last full election, this will be a close fought contest.


SINGLETON AND GREENHALGH WARD FBC  1 seat available
===============================================
CHEW Maxine

Independent and fiercely so. She was uncontested last time, and is the undisputed Queen of Singleton and Greenhalgh. A hardworking well-known councillor following in the dynastic footsteps of her mother who as a Singleton Councillor (now Alderman) for many years. She has competition this time but we doubt she will be dislodged.

CLARKSON Elizabeth
Conservative. Immaculate, with the casual impression of being cool and aloof, we don't recall seeing her speak at all at Council, she is a solicitor living in Lytham. We're surprised to see here standing here as we understood she was standing down altogether.

ROBERTS Ian Stanley
Green Party candidate batting away from his home in St Annes. We know him to be a genuine and reasonable person. But we suspect his presence in Singleton is to do with the Cuadrilla gas rig which is test drilling there for shale gas, and we imagine his candidacy is about capturing a protest vote, or capturing publicity for what's going on. Either way we doubt he will get very far on that line.


ST. JOHN`S WARD FBC  3 seats available
=================================
ACKERS Brenda Margaret

547 votes (out of 2515) last time. Conservative. Seems to us to have a very high opinion of herself. To be honest, we're probably as impressed with her as se is with us, which is likely to be not very much at all. We can't help seeing her as the 'Marie Antoinette' of Fylde Council although we can't actually recall hearing her say 'Let them eat cake'. We struggle to find a single thing good to report about her term of office except that she has been absolutely loyal to the party she serves. She has carried aloft the standard for selling Melton Grove to a property developer, and giving 300,000 of the sale proceeds to Lytham Hall, and, by doing so, she has, in our view, destroyed the trust that, as a Trustee, she was supposed to be safeguarding.

ASHTON Tim
612 votes (out of 2515) last time. Conservative. Topped the poll in St Johns. And was elected County Councillor last year as well. That said, we hear may not be as popular as before. We're not going to say anything about him here. If we start, the list of damage this man had done to Fylde will take too long to write. Suffice to say if he was the last candidate on earth, we wouldn't vote for him.

CORNAH Michael Scott
Conservative. Former Park Ward councillor where he came second. We don't know him well but on the limited amount we do know, he appears to be an old-style, gentlemanly one-nation conservative with a sense of decency. We wish him well in St Johns ward.

GILLIGAN Carol Josephine
Liberal Democrat and something of an enigma. First time standing. Successful businesswoman whose tone might make a casual observer think she was to the right of Margaret Thatcher, but who has embraced the Liberal Democrats and is standing for them in St Johns Ward. Likely to put in the effort and run a tight ship of a campaign there. She clearly knows how to make things happen, and is used to getting the job done. That augurs well for her future if she is elected. We wouldn't be surprised if she was the first one on the list to be approached to join the Conservatives if she does get in.

HARPER Kath
596 votes (out of 2515) last time. Second place last time for a popular and well connected lady. Linked to the Fylde Otters disability swimming club and other sporting activity. Not running under a political flag on the election ticket this time, but she is a Fylde Ratepayer official.


ST. LEONARD'S WARD FBC   3 seats available
=====================================
ASTIN Carolyn Eloise

Integrity UK. First time standing for both Integrity and their candidate in this ward. She's not well known to us, but by all accounts is strong on principles and able to hold the line in a debate. The competition in this ward is exceptional with nine candidates to choose from. Quite how the 3,000 or so voters will divide amongst nine candidates is difficult to tell. There could be surprises in store here.

BOSTOCK Fred
Labour. We know the name from somewhere, but can't quite place it. Labour hopeful, but unlikely to make a big impression.

BUCKLEY Karen Elizabeth
624 votes (out of 3151) last time. (Just) topped the poll last time in St Leonard's. counterbalance's own 'Princess Karen' sets her stall out well. She understands what it takes to win and goes for it. To us she seems incredibly ambitious, and she has earned the epithet of "the Smiling Rottweiler" from some councillors of our acquaintance, probably because of her dogged determination to succeed and win at whatever she does, using the charm and 'butter wouldn't melt' approach that makes her a very difficult opponent. She is also a very skilled advocate, easily able to use selected facts to present what appears to be an utterly convincing argument, and sowing just enough doubt into the minds of those she seeks to convince that to do other than what she suggests would be pointless. In short, unless you have complete mastery of the details of your argument, don't even take her on. To be honest, we think she'll make a better politician than a Councillor, and we look forward to her being given a winnable parliamentary seat.

CHATFIELD Martin Harry
Conservative. Another name we have heard before, but don't know well.

DOWNEY Des
471 votes (out of 3151) last time. Standing under no flag this time but a Fylde Ratepayer, this ebullient, effervescent and widely known man has the gift of the gab that will serve him well in canvassing.

HENSHAW Howard
624 votes (out of 3151) last time. Liberal democrat. Second by only 24 votes last time, he is very well known and well connected locally and, subject to what the voters say, he is also is due to be Mayor if re-elected. Ex international banker with the World Bank or the IMF he has a good head for broad brush figures and has a good support team behind him.

JACQUES Angela Rosemary
567 votes (out of 3151) last time. Conservative. Seems to prefer working behind the scenes, and says little in public at Council meetings. Unremarkable performance to date but perhaps focuses more on her ward concerns.

LANYON Carol Lynn
Liberal Democrat. First time standing. Rose to prominence in the Heeley Road Hostel issue which galvanised her interest in local politics. Was quickly snapped up by the Liberal Democrats for whom she has now become a solid, mainstay, party worker doing more than her fair share of the work for the cause. She is now well experienced in canvassing, and we have seen her watching from the public gallery at almost all the Council meetings we have been to. We have also seen her speak at Cabinet meetings in their public platform. If elected, we think she will slip into the role as thought she had been there for years. Like Princess Karen, she is setting out her stall, and we would not be surprised to see her elected, if not this time, then very soon.

TAYLOR Bill
Labour. Stood in Wesham last time and polled 89 votes. Is making up the numbers here we think.


STAINING & WEETON WARD FBC  2 seats available
=========================================
ANSELL Nick

Labour. This was the seat of Alf Goldberg for several years, and unlike most of Fylde, there is a big enough Labour vote here to win this seat. We don't know this chap but he has more of a chance than any of his colleagues standing in Fylde.

HALL Stephen
Independent: We don't know this chap either but we think he runs the plant nurseries on Staining Road and supplies all the plants for Staining in Bloom. If that's him and folk know its him who is making Staining as impressive as he has made it, then he could do very well indeed. the 'In Bloom' competition transformed Staining into a very desirable place to be and whilst it seems to have re-trenched a bit in recent years, we think it's only waiting to be awoken. A local man like this who is willing to get his hands dirty for the residents could do very well.

HOULDSWORTH Stacey Anne
Green Party. Sadly not know to us. Greens come as surprises sometimes, and other times they just don't figure at all.

POUNDER Albert George
Conservative. Won in an uncontested seat last time. This time he has serious competition. He's a Cabinet Portfolio Holder and 'bruiser figure' for the Conservatives. A hard man with a strong will and a stentorian voice. His could be one of the Conservative seats at risk this time.

SINGLETON John Rossall
Conservative. Won in an uncontested seat last time. We have only had limited dealings but our impression is a pleasant and amenable chap providing a counterfoil to his compatriot in arms. We don't know him well enough to say how he is likely to fare.


WARTON & WESTBY WARD FBC  3 seats available
===================================
ASHTON Susan Ann

Conservative. Not known to us but seemingly from a farming background and well supported with Tory faithfully on her nomination paper.

BRICKLES Julie Ann
Independent. Already a member of Warton Parish Council and strongly endorsed by the outgoing Councillor Janine Owen, she should do well as the only one to use the Independent label on her nomination. We know her to be a no-nonsense practical sort of person which - as readers will know - is what we think FBC is short of.

CUNNINGHAM Susanne
Conservative and sadly, yet another who is not known to us. We really must get out more.

DOUGLAS Barbara Ellen
627 votes (out of 3692) last time. Conservative. Well known in the area and likely to do well.

GILBERT Michael
398 votes (out of 3692) last time. Flying under no electoral banner, he is one of the most experienced councillors in Fylde Borough. A stickler for accuracy and detail, he has forgotten more about the rules of running councils than most people know. His accuracy is not always well received though, as it makes others seem less able or competent (which generally they are).

==============================================

SAINT ANNE'S ON THE SEA TOWN COUNCIL

We have been extremely disappointed to see many candidates standing for the Town Council who have identified themselves with a political party.

We deplore the party politicisation of Town and Parish Councils.

We believe Town and Parish councils should be populated by candidates and eventually councillors who are chosen by their community as individual people.

We will not support anyone standing for election to a Town or Parish council where they represent and are subject to, set party policies and / or a voting whip


ASHTON WARD Town Council 2 seats available
======================================

CARMICHAEL Abigail
Standing as a Liberal Democrat

FORD Tony
Currently the St Annes Mayor and an experienced, hard working Borough Councillor. Likely to be re-elected we would have thought.

GOODMAN Gail
Standing as a Conservative.

HARRISON Jon Edward
Former founding member of St Annes Town Council. Very able, quick witted and a cogent advocate able to argue his case better than most. he was a members of the Steering Group that originally formed the Town Council. He brought great sense and wisdom to the first Town Council and can do so yet again.


CENTRAL WARD Town Council 2 seats available
=====================================
MACKENZIE Barbara Elizabeth

Local businesswoman with fingers in so many pies there are often not enough hours in the day for her. Very well known in the area. Was the first Town Mayor and Chaired the Town Council at its inception. Likely to be elected.

NASH Barbara Ann.
Standing as a Conservative.

NASH Edward John
Standing as a Conservative.

RAMSBOTTOM John Francis
Flying no political flag he is also standing for election to the Borough Council in this ward. please see his entry in the FBC section for details.

RILEY Marie
First time standing for any council. Self deprecating and unassuming she will find it difficult to promote herself to the electorate, but we believe her knowledge and background, together with a real care for people will make her a very able and worthwhile Town councillor.


FAIRHAVEN WARD Town Council 1 seat available
=====================================
FIELDING Bob

Standing as a Liberal Democrat

LITTLE Cheryl Doreen
Standing as a Conservative.

WHITEHEAD Rick
Also standing for Kilnhouse Ward at FBC. Please see his details there


HEYHOUSES WARD Town Council 2 seats available
=======================================
FIELDING Patricia Anne

Standing as a Liberal Democrat

HARRISON Beverley Susan
Standing as a Liberal Democrat

ROBERTS Ian Stanley
Local, community-minded chap who has worked hard to get the Friends of Hope Street Park off the ground and generating improvements for the area. We think he has exactly the right sort of approach and spirit for the Town Council.

SETTLE Vincent James
Standing as a Conservative.

WILDER Viv
Standing as a Conservative.


KILNHOUSE WARD Town Council 2 seats available
=====================================
AKEROYD Christine Elizabeth

Standing as a Conservative.

HENSHAW Karen Maureen
Standing as a Liberal Democrat

MCLAREN Jayne Retta Menzies
Standing as a Conservative.

WHITEHEAD Bill
Also standing for Central Ward at FBC. Please see his details there.


PARK WARD Town Council 1 seat available
================================
GILLIGAN Carol Josephine

Standing as a Liberal Democrat

PRESTWICH Dawn Stansfield
Standing as a Conservative.


ST LEONARDS Town Council 2 seats available
==================================
ASTIN Carolyn Eloise

Also standing for St Leonard's Ward at FBC. Please see her details there.

CHATFIELD Martin Harry
Standing as a Conservative.

JACQUES Angela Rosemary
Standing as a Conservative.

LANYON Carol Lynn
Standing as a Liberal Democrat

For a summary of Blackpool's election candidates, check out Phil the One

Dated:   12 April 2011


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