Election battle begins for Lancashire County Council seats
The battlelines have now been drawn for Lancashire County Council's elections on May 4 with some 315 candidates competing for 84 seats at County Hall.
Those hoping to woo voters belong to parties ranging from Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat to Greens, UKIP, independents, TUSC Against Cuts and Our West Lancashire. In the east of the county one National Front (NF) and two British National Party (BNP) candidates will stand.
With some boundaries redrawn and 82 electoral divisions, issues such as fracking and cuts can be expected to be of particular significance in certain areas of the county.
Those hoping for re-election include big players such as Labour Coun Jenny Mein, leader of the current county council, standing in Preston South East and Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the Tory opposition group on the current council standing in Preston North.
But some notable names are absent - the leader of the Liberal Democrat group County Coun Bill Winlow and Labour Coun David Borrow, the council’s deputy leader, chose not to stand again.
Outside of the three main parties other parties have targeted particular areas - UKIP is fielding candidates in eight Preston divisions, while the TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) Against Cuts will be standing in three divisions- Preston City, Preston East and Preston North. The Green party has also fielded candidates in three Preston divisions.
In Chorley UKIP is fielding candidates in all but one of the eight divisions. While in South Ribble it is mostly a three party race with just one division, South Ribble East, having a Green candidate.