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All change in North of Thatcham elections

Lee Dillon stands down from the district council and David Rendel takes on Tories in Central ward

WHILE election results may be hard to predict, one outcome that we do already know is that Thatcham North will have new representatives on West Berkshire Council after May 5.

Both of the current Liberal Democrat councillors will not be restanding for their seats in the ward, although they are not giving up local politics.

Lee Dillon will be restanding for a town council seat, and David Rendel has decided to stand in a different ward, leaving both seats up for grabs.

In 2007, the pair took control of Thatcham North ward, defeating their Conservative counterparts, Sheila Ellison and Kay Smurthwaite.

Mr Rendel said that he would be contesting Thatcham Central because it was the only ward in Thatcham held by the Tories.

He said: “I always make it my job to win a seat off the Tories.

We are confident that we will increase the number of seats we hold – but by how many?

“That is a matter for the electorate.”

Of course, the plan could backfire and the Conservative take both the seats, but Mr Rendel said this was not something he was worried about.

He said: “We have won the North ward twice in by-elections and I'm hopeful we will win it again.

“We have two excellent candidates and I'm confident that they will be able to hold it.”

However, current Thatcham Central district councillor, Richard Crumly (Con) has not been rattled by Mr Rendel's decision.

He said: “I welcome the challenge and look forward to the fight”

Mr Dillon said that he was not standing for a district council seat owing to other commitments, but he wanted to make it clear that the Liberal Democrats were still strong in the north of the town.

He said: “The Lib Dems haven't deserted Thatcham North.

“The Lib Dems know how important Thatcham North is and that's why we have fielded a full set of candidates.”

One of the candidates hoping to take advantage of the situation in Thatcham North is Conservative candidate Sheila Ellison, who lost her seat in the 2007 elections.

Mrs Ellison, currently a town councillor for Thatcham North, said that the reason she was standing was down to unfinished business.

“I was only in there for two years and I was very disappointed to be out.

“I would like to be in there helping to have a say in the future,” she said.

She added that she was surprised by Mr Rendel's decision to move wards

“David Rendel did help a lot people so I'm surprised he is not standing in the North ward,” she said.

“I hope it is going to help me, as four years ago he had a strong, local support, but we have had a good reception so far.”

The full list of candidates for the four West Berkshire Council wards is:

Thatcham Central – two seats

Matthew Beadle (Labour)

Richard Crumly (Con)

Dave Dobson (Con)

Tony Ferguson (Lib Dem)

David Digby Rendel (Lib Dem)

Thatcham North – two seats

Mike Cole (Lib Dem)

Judy Dear (Labour)

Sheila Ellison (Con)

John Horton (Con)

Juno Orbell (Labour)

Emma Spriggs (Lib Dem)

Thatcham South and Crookham – two seats

Dominic Boeck (Con)

Roger Croft (Con)

Owen Jeffery (Lib Dem)

Theresa McDowell (Lab)

Bob Morgan (Lib Dem)

Steve Schollar (Lab)

Thatcham West – two seats

Jeff Brooks (Lib Dem)

John Burgoyne-Probyn (Con)

Robert Denton-Powell (Con)

David Hamilton (Labour)

George Rattray (Independent)

Keith Woodhams (Lib Dem)

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