Hampshire residents set to head to polls on Thursday for crucial election
BASINGSTOKE and Deane residents are set to go to the polls today (Thursday) for a vital borough council election.
Following boundary changes to the borough, the number of wards will decrease from 29 to 18.
Three seats in each ward are up for grabs, meaning 54 councillors will be elected across the borough.
Typically one third of the council comes up for election every year, except for the year when there is a Hampshire County Council election.
However, the full council will be elected this year due to the boundary changes.
The former wards of East Woodhay and Burghclere, Highclere and St Mary Bourne, and the west part of the Whitchurch ward will be merged into a new, much bigger Evingar ward.
The former Kingsclere, Tadley Central, Tadley South, Baughurst and Tadley North, Pamber and Silchester wards will be combined to form the Tadley North, Kingsclere and Baughurst ward, and the Tadley and Pamber Ward.
Silchester will become part of the Bramley ward.
Between six and 12 candidates are standing for election in each ward, and residents can vote for three candidates.
Polling stations around the borough will be open from 7am to 10pm today (Thursday, May 6).
The current borough council is ruled by the minority Conservative party, with the Tories holding 28 of the 60 seats.
Labour has 13 seats, The Independent Forum has 11 seats and the Liberal Democrats have seven seats, with one spot vacant.
The last election to be held in the borough was in 2019, when 20 of the 60 seats were up for election.
The Conservative Party lost two seats to the Liberal Democrats, while Labour held their incumbent seats.
This year’s election was due to be held last year, but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Constabulary’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections will also be taking place on Thursday.
For the county council, all 78 seats are up for election, with each of the 78 wards returning a councillor for a four-year term of office.
The Conservatives currently dominate the county council – controlling 55 of the 78 seats, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 19 seats.
Labour, Community Campaign (Hart), Basingstoke & Deane Independent Group and an independent councillor each hold one seat.
In the PCC election, which was also postponed last year, candidates from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Hampshire Independents will go against each other.
Donna Jones is standing for the Conservatives, Richard Murphy for the Liberal Democrats, Tony Bunday for Labour and Steve James-Bailey for Hampshire Independents.
The PCC is an elected role established in 2012 to ensure police forces are running effectively.
For more information on all the candidates running in the elections, click here.
For results and reaction on the elections, see NewburyToday and the May 13 edition of the Newbury Weekly News.