UKIP and Greens depleted as Worthing prepares to head to polls

Election news
Election news

UKIP and the Green Party will not field a full set of candidates in next month’s Worthing Borough Council elections.

Just three of the 13 wards going to the polls on May 3 will be contested by all five main political parties, with UKIP standing in six and the Greens in eight.

Both parties fielded candidates in every ward in 2016.

The Tories will be defending ten seats, while single Liberal Democrats, Green and UKIP seats are up for grabs.

But while UKIP is standing elsewhere, the party will not be defending the Durrington seat won by Sue Jelliss four years ago.

Instead, the seat could turn blue - courtesy of a former UKIP councillor.

Charles James left the Tories in 2013, joining UKIP in protest at the then lack of a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.

He reportedly defected after penning a surprise one-line resignation letter to then Conservative leader Paul Yallop.

After by-election success in Castle ward in 2014, he spent two years leading UKIP in the council chamber before losing his seat to Tory Steve Wills.

He at times clashed with his former Conservative colleagues, once being dubbed the ‘skiver in chief’ by councillor Edward Crouch.

Elsewhere, other former councillors seeking election include former Lib Dem leader Keith Sunderland (Northbrook), ex-mayor and Lib Dem Christine Brown (Central), Lib Dem Antony Brown and Conservative Nicola Waight (Goring).

Three Tory councillors, Vicky Vaughan (Broadwater), Luke Proudfoot (Castle) and Mark Nolan (Con) will not defend their seats.

A trio of cabinet members will stand again. Diane Guest will defend Heene, Kevin Jenkins will seek re-election in Gaisford and Ed Crouch will contest Marine - months after Labour earned a surprise by-election victory in the ward.

Overall control of the council cannot change.

Labour will be looking to build on its surprise victory in the Marine ward by-election in August, where Beccy Cooper took the party’s first seat on the council in more than 40 years.

Party veteran Jim Deen is standing in Central ward – the Green Party’s only seat, which James Doyle will defend.

Labour will hope to secure at least one additional seat – but is thought to be targeting a number of wards.

The Lib Dems, meanwhile, will at least bank on holding Tarring, with former mayor Bob Smytherman seeking re-election.

Visit www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/elections-and-voting for a full list of candidates.