Let battle for your votes commence

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The gloves were off as the countdown to local elections got underway this week when the candidates were revealed.

There are 21 seats up for grabs on Thursday, May 5, including 12 Labour, six Conservative, one Liberal Democrat and two Independent.

The Labour Party and the Conservatives each have 21 candidates in the running and the Liberal Democrats have 12.

Other parties in the race include the UK Independence Party (UKIP) with six candidates. It believes in power for local people over local councils and that money should be taken from politicians and bureaucrats in Westminster and Brussels and given to communities and local authorities.

There are five Independent candidates standing, including Norman Tate for Save Thornes Park and Lightwaves, Mick Griffiths for Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts. Steve Vickers as the Independent candidate for Featherstone, Raymond Warren for Hemsworth and Jack Wright for Knottingley.

The Green Party, which is fighting for ‘cuts where they are needed, and not where they hurt,’ has three people standing.

It aims to make sure bankers are not rewarded for their failure, pensioners get a non-means tested £170 per week and that there is double spending on youth services. The British National Party has two candidates in the running. It is campaigning on issues such as the war in Afghanistan and immigration.

Currently the council is made up of 34 Labour councillors, 23 Conservatives, five Independents and one Liberal Democrat.

Parish and town council elections and a UK-wide referendum on the alternative voting system will take place on the same day as the Wakefield Council vote. The deadline to register to vote is Thursday, April 14, which is also the last date for postal vote applications.

If you’re not already registered or want to apply for a postal vote, contact the elections team on 01924 305023, e-mail elections@wakefield.gov.uk or print off the form from www.aboutmyvote.co.uk and a full list of candidates can be found at www.wakefield. gov.uk