Four parties ready to battle for county council’s 71 seats

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More than 300 people will be contesting the West Sussex County Council elections in May - and the UK Independence Party is challenging all 71 seats.

The current constitution of the council is – Conservatives 48, Liberal Democrats 18, Labour 3, one Independent and one UKIP and the official lists of those standing were released on Monday.

A week after former deputy leader of Horsham District Conservative Group Roger Arthur defected to UKIP, it was revealed that the party has candidates standing in all the county’s seats and also in one of the two Horsham District Council seats where a by-election is being held on the same day.

John Wallace, UKIP co-ordinator for West Sussex said: “We have a full slate of candidates in the WSCC elections. Indeed, West Sussex was the first county nationally to achieve this, rapidly followed by Bucks, Surrey and East Sussex.

“Our coverage in the South East region has achieved in excess of 94 per cent.”

Members of the Labour Party are standing in every division apart from Storrington and Warnham & Rusper.

Also making an appearance in this year’s elections is Jim Duggan, standing for the Peace Party in the Horsham Riverside Division up against leader of the County Liberal Democrats Morwen Millson.

He received 128 votes in the Eastleigh Parliamentary by-elections last month and has stood in Horsham local elections on a number of occasions.

Also on May 2, by elections are being held in the Horsham District Council wards of Chantry and Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead following the resignations of Conservative councillors Chris Mason and Andrew Dunlop.

In Chantry, also where the leader of the council Ray Dawe holds a seat, voters will have a choice between the Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, and UKIP and in Cowfold they can choose between just two parties - the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

A detailed guide to the county council election, including the full list of nominations and timetable, can be found by following a link from the front page of www.westsussex.gov.uk

Counting of the votes will take place on Friday May 3 and the results will appear on the County Times website at www.wscountytimes.co.uk