Elections 2015: Parish council seats go uncontested in Rutland

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Elections.

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Candidates vying to be your next MP, county, town or parish councillor have been putting in the miles as election campaigning intensifies.

The names of those hoping for votes on May 7 were confirmed on Friday last week.

At a national level, long-serving Conservative MP Alan Duncan will fight against rivals from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the UK Independence Party, the Green Party and an independent candidate to keep hold of his Melton and Rutland seat.

Twelve of the 16 Rutland County Council seats will also be fiercely contested, although Conservative leader Roger Begy has been re-elected after no-one challenged him in the Greetham ward.

Town and parish council seats are also up for grabs. But in Oakham the makeup of the town council has already been decided. Each of the authority’s four wards has three seats. In two of them, only three candidates are standing, while the others have either two candidates or one. This leaves the council three members short.

Alf Dewis, who will keep his seat in the south west ward, was unsure why there was a shortage of candidates for the town council. He said: “There has been a lack of interest in local politics over the last few years so maybe that is continuing.”

But Mr Dewis said it was important people took an interest in local democracy.

“It’s essential if you want to have a say in how the town is run,” he added. “The way to do that is to join the council.

“People are very busy and a lot of people have their families and jobs to look after. A lot of people are travelling to work so their time is desperately short. I can understand why some people don’t have time.

“But I would recommend that people contact the council and ask what they can do, and see whether they want to be involved.”

Following the election on May 7, the nine Oakham Town Council candidates will meet for the first time on May 13. After that they will open the three vacancies for co-option. People can apply and councillors will decide the best candidates.

Nineteen other parish council elections are uncontested. They are: Ashwell, Barrowden, Belton, Braunston, Caldecott, Cottesmore, Empingham, Essendine, Exton and Horn, Great Casterton, Little Casterton, Lyddington, Manton, Market Overton, Ridlington, Ryhall, Seaton, South Luffenham and Whissendine.

We will profile the Rutland County Council candidates in the coming weeks.