Election 2015-The Battle for Sedgemoor is on!

Labour are leading the fight to overthrow the Tory dictatorship of Sedgemoor District Council
Labour are leading the fight to overthrow the Tory dictatorship of Sedgemoor District Council

The electoral fight for control of Sedgemoor District Council has started today with the publication of candidates for each of the wards. The Council is controlled by a powerful Conservative group-based largely in the North of the District around Cheddar and Burnham and the Opposition is the strong Labour showing in the Bridgwater area.

The current balance of the Council is 31 Conservative 13 Labour 2 Lib Dem 2 Independents.

The Tories are standing in every ward and see themselves as favourites to keep control of the Council as they have done for generations, apart from a small blip in the mid 90’s when Labour and the Libdems combined grabbed the council by 1 vote.

Conservative rule is under pressure in the Bridgwater area from Labour where they hold 13 seats and who are standing 24 candidates across the district, in Burnham from the Lib Dems-desperate to save Tessa Munt’s seat and also fielding 24 candidates and in rural wards from the newly surging Green Party,fielding a creditable 11 seats, they may struggle to cling on and are fighting a battle on all fronts.

The far right UKIP challenge has turned out to be minimal and largely a threat to the tory vote with a total of 9 kippers standing around the district, 2 of them in Bridgwater

Sedgemoor Ward by Ward.

vote lab
Tories and LibDems are losing seats everywhere and offer nothing for the people of Bridgwater.

In Bridgwater the Labour challenge is the strongest as the Party currently holds 13 of the 15 seats. Labour are standing on all 15 seats and need to gain the final 2 (in Wyndham) to have a chance to win Sedgemoor. No Greens are standing in Bridgwater, 3 Lib Dem paper candidates and 4 UKIP style tories.

Bridgwater HAMP
The Hamp ward has always been held by Labour and has 2 seats. Sitting councillor Adrian Moore is joined by UNITE community man Wes Hinckes from Old Taunton road.

James Cockram (Con)
Andrew Danniells (Con)
Wes Hinckes (Labour)
Adrian Moore (Labour)

Bridgwater EASTOVER
Currently, and usually, held by Labour, Eastover has 2 seats. Sitting councillor Dave Loveridge is joined this time by Labour’s Moira Brown, a teacher.

Linda Bareham-Stanley (Con)
Moira Brown (Labour)
Michael Hill (Con)
Camael King (Lib Dem)
Dave Loveridge (Labour)


Bridgwater WESTOVER
The town centre ward of Westover is currently held by Labour and has 2 seats, both sitting Labour councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce are standing for re-election

Barbara Fisher (Lib Dem)
Kathy Pearce (Labour)
Jeffrey Searle (Con)
Brian Smedley (Labour)
John Watts (Con)

Bridgwater VICTORIA
Following the recent illness of longstanding Labour councillor Ken Richards, the Victoria ward will now see Mick Lerry, sitting councillor and Parliamentary candidate, alongside new candidate Siobhan Wilson . A strong tory challenge is expected although this time round the former ‘independent’ candidate has decided he’s UKIP after all.

Barrie Crow (Con)
Lance Duddridge (Con)
Mick Lerry (Labour)
Roderick Lukins (UKIP)
Siobhan Wilson (Labour)

Leigh & Diego
Dunwear councillor Leigh Redman with running mate Diogo Rodrigues

Bridgwater DUNWEAR
The 2 Bridge estate and South Sydenham seats,currently held by Labour face a challenge from Tory, Lib Dem and UKIP. Labour’s sitting councillor Leigh Redman is joined this year by 25 year old Diogo Rodrigues.

Pele Barnes (Con)
Loma King (Lib Dem)
Christine McGinty (Con)
Leigh Redman (Labour)
Diogo Rodrigues (Labour)
Richard Scammell (UKIP)


Bridgwater Fairfax
The 3 Fairfax seats that cover the Sydenham Estate (North) and Bower manor are held by Labour whose 3 sitting candidates are standing again to fight off a Tory/Lib Dem challenge.

Janice Beasley (Lib Dem)
Mike Cresswell (Con)
Jim Donoghue (Con)
Alex Glassford (Labour)
Graham Granter (Labour)
Wayne Pearce (Con)
Reg Winslow (Labour)

Bridgwater Wyndham
The Durleigh end of Bridgwater is currently held by Conservatives. Wyndham has 2 seats and a strong Labour challenge also see’s an odd lib dem in there as well.

Rachael Caswell (Con)
Peter Johnstone (Lib Dem)
Liz Leavy (Labour)
Gill Slocombe (Con)
Caroline Wilkins (Labour)

The strength of the Labour vote in Bridgwater . Lib Dem support in Bridgwater has dropped off the register in recent years
The strength of the Labour vote in Bridgwater . Lib Dem support in Bridgwater has dropped off the register in recent years

In the ‘Greater Bridgwater’ area a ‘rainbow attack’ on Tory seats could see some upsets

North Petherton
The 3 Tory seats in North Petherton are under attack from 1 Labour, 1 Green and 1 Lib Dem so no matter why you hate the Tories you’ve got a chance to get them out by voting Lib,Lab and Green.

Lucy Allen (Con)
Jen Bayford (Green)
Alan Bradford (Con)
Marion Denham (Labour)
Anne Fraser (Con)
Bill Revans (Lib Dem)

Puriton & Woolavington

Richard Hampson Labour candidate for Bridgwater West
Labour candidate for Puriton and Woolavington, Richard Hampson

The 2 Tory seats in Woolavington & Puriton face a threat from the right with a UKIP challenge and a good chance to grab the seats with a red/green progressive vote in an area that has often been lib/lab in the past.

Valerie Bannister (Green)
Alison Hamlin (Con)
Richard Hampson (Labour)
Mark Healey (Con)
Pete Hollings (UKIP)

The 2 Tory seats in the Quantocks ward are under threat from a 2 pronged red/green challenge including Labour’s local candidate Phil King from Over Stowey

Lindy Booth (Green)
Michael Caswell (Con)
Philip King (Labour)
Julie Pay (Con)

King’s Isle
The 2 Tory seats in the moorland ward of King’s Isle which includes Weston Zoyland, Chedzoy, Middlezoy and the new King’s Down estate in Bridgwater, are under threat from a lib/green challenge.

Derek Alder (Con)
Liz Perry (Con)
Mike Senior (Lib Dem)
Josephine Smolden (Green)

Along the Polden ridge the green are taking on top tories one to one.

East Polden
Tory leader Duncan McGinty is facing a single opposition challenge from Green candidate Ian Horsfield and without Labour or Lib Dems standing this time faces a tough time in East Polden ward which includes Ashcott and Greinton.

Ian Horsfield (Green)
Duncan McGinty (Con)

West Polden
Tory Portfolio holder Stuart Kingham also finds himself facing a sole opponent to focus opposition in his West Polden ward which includes Chilton Polden and Catcott.

Charles Graham (Green)
Stuart Kingham (Con)

Cannington & Wembdon
The 2 sitting Tories in Cannington & Wembdon are facing lib/green opponents.

Alan Beasley (Lib Dem)
Ann Bown (Con)
Ian Dyer (Con)
Allan Jeffery (Green)

In the Burnham and Highbridge area , often seen as a Tory heartland, Labour are mounting a strong challenge in Highbridge while the Lib Dems are the main challengers in the 2 Burnham seats.

Highbridge & Burnham Marine

Sheila Forrester leading Labour's attack in Highbridge
Sheila Forrester leading Labour’s attack in Highbridge

The most marginal seat in Sedgemoor which has swung backwards and forwards between all parties, Highbridge and Burnham Marine faces a hard campaign by Labour to retake it. The 3 seats currently held by 1 Lib Dem and 2 Independents (who fell out with the lib dems) are being fought over by 14 candidates including 3 Labour, 3 con, 3 Lib Dem, 1 UKIP, 2 independents and 2 people who have forgotten to identify themselves as anything….it’s fair to say that ANYTHING could happen.
Alan Beech (Labour)
Lorna Corke (UKIP)
Sheila Forrester (Labour)
Bill Hancock (Independent)
Fiona Hector (Lib Dem)
Janet Keen (Con)
Roger Keen (Con)
Graham Kennedy (Lib Dem)
Tony Lynham (no description)
Mike Mansfield (no description)
John Parkes (Lib Dem)
James Roughton (Con)
Lucy Scanlon (Labour)
Chris Williams (Independent)

Burnham Central
The 3 seat ward of Burnham Central is currently a tory/lib dem marginal with 2 Tory and 1 lib dem sitting councillors. This time round it’s ..almost..a straight fight..although there’s a green and a UKIP in there too to mix up the left and right votes.

Maria Clarke (Con)
Michael Clarke (Con)
Harriet Courtenay (Green)
James Donnellan (UKIP)
Mike Facey (Con)
Phil Harvey (Lib Dem)
Katie Lawson (Lib Dem)
Sarah Milner (Lib Dem)

Burnham North
The 3 seat ward of Burnham North has been Tory since Tories were invented. Again it should be a straight Tory-Lib Dem fight but….there’s a Green and UKIP in there if you can’t bring yourself to fought for the coalitionistas.

Cheryl Burnett (Con)
Peter Burridge Clayton (Con)
Paul Herbert (Con)
Helen Hims (UKIP)
Alexander Lawrie (Green)
Beverley Milner Simonds (Lib Dem)
Tom Nicholls (Lib Dem)
Victoria Weavell (Lib Dems)

Huntspill & Pawlett
The single seat ward of Huntspill & Pawlett sees a divided challenge to the Tories in this Conservative held seat which has in the past been Lib Dem for many years.

Susanna Craig (Lib Dem)
Terry Peers (Green)
John Woodman (Con)

The single member seat of Berrow , currently held by the Tories but previously independent is a straight Tory-Lib Dem fight

Tony Grimes (Con)
Andrew Nisbet (Lib Dem)

The 2 member M5 corridor seat of Knoll, currently held by the tories sees challenge from both left and right with lib dems and UKIP standing there.

Bob Filmer (Con)
Isobel Fotheringham (UKIP)
Andrew Gilling (Con)
Tony Gore (Lib Dem)

The North end of Sedgemoor is usually a deep tory blue and from here they seek to impose their usual ‘direct rule from Cheddar’ on those of us south of the poldens. But nowhere are the tories going unchallenged.

Cheddar & Shipham
The 3 member ward of Cheddar & Shipham, currently (and usually) Conservative , sees Labour and Lib Dem challenge for the seats from the progressive end of the scale whilst right wing tory throwbacks UKIP add their 2 pennarth from the other side.

Peter Downing (Con)
Suzanne Green (Lib Dem)
Dawn Hill (Con)
Will Hims (UKIP)
John Outhwaite (Lib Dem)
Jeff Savage (Con)
Norma Scanlon (Labour)

The 2 member ward of Axevale, currently Tory, sees a divisive 3-way challenge fro lib, lab, greens and not even a UKIPPER to spoil the tory vote.

Jean Bevis (Lib Dem)
John Denbee (Con)
Jake Flood (Green)
Liz Scott (Con)
Tom Scott (Labour)

Wedmore & Mark
The 2 member ward of Wedmore and Mark, currently tory, offers people a lib/lab alternative and tory voters a righter than right choice in UKIP..could be interesting.

Polly Costello (Con)
Rosemary Hasler (Lib Dem)
Gabrielle Hector (Labour)
Will Human (Con)
Dave Willis (UKIP)

Could the Tories lose Sedgemoor?
Could the Tories lose Sedgemoor?

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