Candidates gear up to contest South Gloucestershire Council elections
VOTERS in the Emersons Green area will be going to the polls next month for the first council elections since boundaries were re-drawn.
The Emersons Green ward has expanded in size to include Lyde Green, which was previously in neighbouring Boyd Valley ward, while also including the area around Vinny Green and Blackhorse Road, which was previously part of Rodway ward.
The area north west of Badminton Road, around Aintree Drive, is moving from Emersons Green to the new Frenchay & Downend ward.
Meanwhile Rodway ward is disappearing: the majority of the area it covered is becoming part of the new Staple Hill and Mangotsfield ward, while the southern end of it will become part of the newly-created New Cheltenham ward.
Pucklechurch will remain part of the Boyd Valley ward.
The changes reduce the number of members of South Gloucestershire Council from 70 to 61.
The political parties are gearing up for the elections, with some having already selected candidates and others in the middle of the selection process, which will be finalised over the next couple of weeks. The elections are due to take place on Thursday May 2.
In Emersons Green, the Conservatives are set to field three candidates who are currently serving South Gloucestershire councillors.
Judy Adams has represented Rodway ward for the past four years but is an Emersons Green resident and town councillor.
Colin Hunt is South Gloucestershire’s cabinet member for planning and has been a councillor since 2003, having also served on the previous Kingswood Borough Councillor from 1987 until it was abolished in 1996.
Rachael Hunt is the current chair of South Gloucestershire Council, having been elected in 2015.
Labour has selected Sadiq Al-Hasan, Jonathan Maytham and Matt Palmer to contest Emersons Green.
Sadiq is a serving Emersons Green town councillor. He is also a pharmacist, a member of the Avon Local Pharmaceutical Committee and a father-of-two.
In Staple Hill & Mangotsfield ward, Labour has selected two current councillors and a new candidate to contest the election.
Ian Boulton has represented Staple Hill since 2011 and stood as the Labour candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke in the 2010 and 2015 general elections.
Current Rodway councillor Michael Bell has represented the ward since 2011, while campaigner Katie Cooper is standing for election for the first time this year.
The Conservative candidates for Staple Hill & Mangotsfield are youth worker and tutor Matt Pitts, former Emersons Green ward South Gloucestershire councillor James Hunt and Bradley Stoke town councillor Franklin Owusu-Antwi, who works for the MoD at Abbey Wood.
Labour had yet to inform the Voice of its candidates for the Boyd Valley ward, where two council seats are up for election, before the paper went to press.
The Conservatives due to stand in the ward are Steve Reade, who has served on the council for eight years and is a lead member on its scrutiny committee, and Ben Stokes, the council’s cabinet member for adult care. He has served on the council for eight years and has been a member of Dyrham and Hinton parish council for ten.
South Gloucestershire’s Liberal Democrats were due to select their candidates for the wards covering the Emersons Green area after the Voice went to print.