A total of 58 candidates will be contesting 20 seats in the South Tyneside Council elections on Thursday May 2nd.
When nominations closed 12 noon today (April 5th) there were 20 Labour candidates, 17 Liberal/Democrat, 12 Conservative, 6 Progressive and 3 Independents in the line-up.
There are contests in all 20 wards, with one-third of the current Council seats up for election. Labour are contesting all wards with 13 retiring Members seeking re-elections, including the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor John Temple.
The Liberal Democrats are fielding 17 candidates, with two sitting Members, including the Leader of the opposition Councillor Jim Selby, seeking re-election.
There are 12 Conservative candidates, seven in the Jarrow and Hebburn wards and five in the South Shields wards.
Progressive have six candidates in the South Shields wards with one sitting member Councillor Enid Hetherington seeking re-election in West Park.
Independent candidates are contesting two seats in South Shields, and one in Hebburn.
Three sitting Labour members are retiring from the Council, Councillor Ed Malcolm (Tyne Dock and Simonside), Councillor Cathy Brown (Horsley Hill) and Councillor Alex Tudberry (Whitburn and Marsden).
There is one vacancy in the Monkton ward due to the death of Councillor Neil Bonnar. The current Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Alan Kerr is contesting this seat, switching from Hebburn South.
The majority of the contest are three-way, with two four-way contests and four straight contests.
The present composition of the Council is Labour 49, Liberal/Democrat 6, Progressive 4 and one vacant labour seat.
Polling day is Thursday May 2nd. For the first time the Council elections will be conducted by all postal voting. There will be no polling stations and all the votes will be counted electronically.
Full details of the postal voting system have already been publicised (Press Release PR015/2002.