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Archive - Friday, 20 April 2007
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Eastbourne's make-up may change
If historical form is anything to go by, the political make-up of the next Eastbourne Borough Council could change in the May elections.
The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are the main contenders for Eastbourne's nine wards.
In 2003 the Lib Dems had a majority of one seat on the council but the Tories took control in 2004 when they gained an ascendancy of one seat, having had 14 councillors elected.
This increased last year when the Conservatives had 15 councillors elected compared with 12 Liberals.
The Tory dominance was strengthened by the resignation of Lib Dem councillor Irene Sims, whose seat remains unoccupied.
The council's balance could change because this is the first time since 2002 that all seats are up for grabs.
Members of the public who tend to vote for a personality rather than a party have more choice this year than ever - 89 people are standing for election compared with 79 in the last full election five years ago.
For the first time in three elections, the UKIP has a strong representation, with five people standing.
And four councillors are standing down - David Stevens and Patrick Bowker from the Tories, Robert Slater from the Lib Dems and the Independent Norman Marsh.
One key battleground could be Old Town, because last year it had the biggest electoral turnout, with 50 per cent of people voting.
Conservative councillors Anne Angel, Simon Herbert and Ian Lucas face opposition from three Liberals and a Labour and Green candidate.
Another is Langney, which had the lowest turnout last year, with 32 per cent.
The Lib Dems face a fight to keep the ward because Mr Slater is standing down and the party's candidates face opposition from three Tories, two Greens and a Labour candidate.
Sovereign could be hotly contested because the Tories have borne the brunt from people who complain of overdevelopment of the area.