We’ve been talking a great deal on Hastings In Focus about the elections to Hastings Borough Council (HBC) which are now less than two weeks away.
For the first time in many years every one of the 32 seats on the council is up for grabs, that’s because there have been boundary changes since the last elections. But with two councillors per ward what should you do with your ballot paper on election day?
It’s simple really you need to vote for two candidates. At the election count all the votes will be tallied and the candidate with the most votes in each ward will become a councillor for a four year term, the candidate who comes second will become a councillor for a two year term and face the voters again in 2020. You don’t have to cast both votes for the same party and some wards may end up with two councillors each one from a different political group.
Politically it’s a hotly contested election with no-one standing under the banner of ‘independent’. While Labour, Conservatives and the Greens are contesting every single one of the 16 wards the Liberal Democrats stood aside in Old Hastings but will contest the other 15 wards. The Lib Dems decision not to contest Old Hastings is so as not to split the vote with the Green candidates who are considered to have a chance of winning there.
Hastings In Focus has been speaking to a number of people, some candidates and some who have been observers the local political scene over the years. It’s suggested that the ruling Labour group might well see some losses, as one observer told Hastings In Focus: “Labour reached something of a high watermark last time round so its inevitable really that they will see some losses on May 3.”
Even without seats changing hands from one party to another its likely that up to a third or more of the councillors who take their seats after the May 3 elections will be new faces as a number of long standing members of the authority are standing down and not seeking re-election this time round.
Elections take place on Thursday May 3 wit votes being counted and results announced the following day.
The political reality of the situation is that either the Labour or Conservative groups will control HBC and we have spoken to the leaders of both groups to find out how they see the future for the town. If you haven’t watched those interviews you can do so now by clicking on the links below.
Conservative group leader Rob Lee.
Labour group leader Peter Chowney.