Labour looks for a gain

AS election day approaches, all three parties battling for Wealden Council seats in Uckfield are confident of their chances.

Labour is hopeful of winning its first ever seat on the council in the Uckfield North Ward when voters go to the polls next Thursday.

Len Ashby, is a town councillor who is being returned to the council without a contest on election day. He is also standing as a candidate in the district election and said the way the north ward was made up would help the Labour cause.

There had never previously been a ward system in district council elections but with the north ward including areas like The Drive and Manor End Mr Ashby was confident they would win a seat there.

He thought Conservative chances were weakened because they were only fielding one candidate in the ward when two seats were available.

Conservative candidate Silvia Buck, who is hoping for re-election to Wealden Council and is fighting for the seat in Uckfield Ridgewood Ward, said she thought it was proving to be a fair and well fought election.

She said they had canvassed hard and she hoped the electorate would return her to the council.

In Ridgewood she is campaigning against another current district councillor Tony Parker (LibDem). Mr Parker is also a town councillor being returned without a contest in the Ridgewood ward.

Battling with them for the Ridgwood seat is Jane Espinasse for Labour.

Speaking for the LibDems, Ian Nottage, a town councillor who will be fighting to retain his seat on Thursday in New Town ward – the only area of Uckfield to have a contest for seats on the town council – as well as standing as a candidate in the Wealden election, said they were confident they could win every ward.

'We have found around the doorsteps that our campaign is gathering support.

'People are angry with the Conservatives because they say the council they control is doing really well when their perception is different.

'They are not happy with litter collection or the refuse collection service.'