TWELVE councillors are standing down from Horsham District Council in the Local Elections in May and in three wards all current members will be replaced.
As the nominations of councillors for HDC were announced this week, there were a few surprises as it was revealed seven Conservative and five Liberal Democrat members were not standing for election.
There are 22 wards in the Horsham District, which between them have 44 seats, and 129 candidates will fight for them on May 5.
Sheila Van Den Bergh (Con, Billingshurst and Shipley), one of the council’s longest-serving members, is standing down after representing voters in her ward for more than 24 years - first from 1983 to 1995 and again from 1999 to date.
She said: “It’s old age really. I’ve served for about 25 years - and enjoyed it tremendously and I’m proud to be involved.
“I did feel it was time for younger people to take my place and time for me to go. It will give me a bit more free time to spend with the grandchildren and other things.”
Billingshurst and Shipley is also losing Peggy Davies, who has stood for one term (four years, since 2007), but Gordon Lindsay (Con) is running for re-election. Newcomers Adam Breacher and Kate Rowbottom are standing in their place for the Conservative Party.
After 22 years, Sally Horner (LDem, Broadbridge Heath) is standing down following her move abroad last year.
Linda Pettitt (Con), who currently stands in Holbrook East, will stand in Broadbridge Heath against Liberal Democrat newcomer Malcolm Curnock, Labour candidate Raymond Chapman and Valerie Gray for the UK Independence Party.
Ian Shepherd, who recently defected to the Liberal Democrats from his Conservative seat in Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead, will be standing against Leader of the Council Robert Nye (Con, Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham).
Peter Rowlinson (Con), who also represents Mr Nye’s ward, will be standing down after one term in office and newcomer Tricia Youtan will take his place as a Conservative candidate.
Candidates also stepping down after serving one term are Clive Burgess, who moved to Hastings, and Kyle Wickens (both LDem, Horsham Park), Frank Grantham (Con, Bramber, Upper Beeding and Woodmancote), Gordon Brown (Con, Forest) and Sarah Gray (LDem, Roffey North).
Sheila Dale (LDem, Denne), who won a by-election in 2006, is not running for re-election as well as Alan Fisher (Con, Bramber, Upper Beeding and Woodmancote) who won his seat in 2003.
The UK Independence Party has put forward candidates in all wards apart from Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead; Henfield; Rusper and Steyning.
The Labour Party have nominations in all wards apart from Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead; Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham; Nuthurst; Rudgwick; Southwater and Pulborough and Coldwaltham.
The Green Party has put forward candidates forward in just three wards: Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham; Pulborough and Coldwaltham and two candidates in Trafalgar.
Jim Duggan is once again standing for The Peace Party - Non Violence, Justice, Environment in Horsham Park, but the British National Party has no candidates in this year’s Horsham District Council elections.
To see the full list of candidates, buy a copy of this week’s County Times.