BATTLELINES have been drawn as voters prepare to cast their ballots in next Thursday’s crunch council elections.

More than 160 candidates will be vying for just 48 seats on Tendring Council.

The election will see the number of Tendring councillors cut from 60 to 48 following a Local Government Boundary Commission review.

In addition to the district council election, the five wards of Frinton and Walton Town Council and the Point Clear ward of St Osyth Parish Council will be contested.

The remaining parish and town council elections will not be contested, with fewer candidates than seats available.

The candidates are therefore elected without the need for a poll.

Neil Stock, Conservative candidate for Ardleigh and Little Bromley, said: “For the last four years we’ve been leading the council.“At the last election there was not one party in overall control and we made an offer to all parties to work together for the good of the district.

“Many agreed to do that, some didn’t. We have improved services and were rated outstanding by our equivalent of Ofsted, the Local Government Association.

“We want to build on that good run, putting narrow party politics aside as we have done for the past four years.”

“We are now recognised as one of the best councils in the whole country.” the LGA said if anything we are not shouting loud enough about the success we have achieved.

“We also have a good relationship between officers and members - we have tried to include all councillors regardless of political party.”

Clacton’s Labour Party will meet with residents on Saturday and Sunday in Clacton town centre from 11am until 3pm, before candidates move to their respective wards to canvass.

They will be joined by Labour MEP Alex Mayer on Saturday.

James Machin, Labour’s West Clacton and Jaywick candidate, said: “Our candidates will listen to your worries and issues, hold monthly surgeries open to everyone and we will share with you a summary of council meetings, ensuring you are informed on the motions passed and defeated and give you the opportunity to tell us your views on the motions being discussed. “We will help you navigate your way through the many departments of the council to ensure your issues are laid before the appropriate team and receive the attention they deserve.

“We will make sure that any residents who cannot attend surgeries will still be kept informed by email, phone or letter. “

“We care about the residents of Tendring and we want to give them the representation they are entitled to.”

The Liberal Democrat manifesto took aim at the Conservatives and said: “They run the council as if they own it and ignore everyone else. We will listen and offer every councillor a chance to contribute their ideas and knowledge.

“They’ve spent eight years not managing to get an adopted Local Plan in place, we’ll make it happen.

“They nod and smile while government or county council devastate local services like libraries, the police, road repairs, old people’s homes and youth services.” We’ll make strong and well-researched representations.”

Terry Allen, Tendring First candidate for Frinton, said: “We have a record of getting things done and of running councils in an efficient and effective way.

“We provide open spaces, for example Frinton’s Spinney which is opening this week.

“We have provided toilets after they have been shut by Tendring Council as well as play parks for kids. We will campaign and lobby for repairs to roads and pavements.”

Chris Southall, Green candidate for Burrsville, said: “We have 12 candidates - the most we have ever had in a district council election.

“We recently had a meeting about climate change and sea level rises, which is very prudent to where we live on the coast.

“As local councils own a lot of properties, there are things they can do such as improving insulation and using solar panels to help combat climate change. This is an emergency and time is short.”

Mary Newton, Ukip candidate for Bluehouse, said: “I honestly don’t know what will happen to Ukip at the election. I think it relies on what could happen at Parliament with Brexit in the next few weeks.

“I’m expecting the voter turnout to be low as people are fed up with politics.”

Dan Casey, Tendring Alliance candidate for West Clacton and Jaywick, said his new group aimed to change politics in Tendring. Its policies include challenging cuts to local government spending, improving access to GP appointments and increasing police numbers.

“There is a real appetite for people who would put local issues ahead of blind loyalty to national politics,” said Dan.

The election for the St Osyth seat has been rescheduled for May 23, in line with election law, after the death of Conservative candidate Anita Bailey.

For the full list of candidates, go to