Balance of power rests on a knife edge at town hall as
VOTERS in Stockport will go to the polls next month to elect a new crop of councillors for the first time since 2019.
Last year’s local elections were cancelled due to the pandemic, but residents will once again have their say at the ballot box on May 6.
The town hall is currently under no overall control, with Labour and the Lib Dems both having 26 councillors, while the Tories have eight and the Independent ratepayers three.
Labour retained their grip on the council in 2019 by virtue of then Mayor Laura Booth having the casting vote on who held the reins.
And it will be another big night in the borough come polling day, with the balance of power resting on a knife edge.
There are 21 seats up for grabs - a third of the whole council - with those standing for re-election having served an extra 12 months due to last year’s hiatus.
And some of the town hall’s main players will be fighting to keep their place in the chamber over the coming three weeks.
There are three Labour cabinet members vying for another four years including Coun Sheila Bailey who has been an elected member since 1990.
Coun Bailey - cabinet member for Sustainable Stockport - will again contest the Cheadle Heath and Edgeley seat.
Fellow executive members Coun Kate Butler and Coun Colin Foster will also defend their respective Reddish North and Heatons South seats.
Meanwhile the Lib Dems will need to persuade the electorate to return their two biggest hitters.
Leader Coun Mark Hunter will be hoping voters in Cheadle Hulme South will again give him their endorsement.
Meanwhile, his deputy Coun Lisa Smart is also up in Bredbury Green and Romiley.
Other notable candidates include Joe Barratt, co-founder of the Teenage Market and organiser of the town’s popular Foodie Friday event.
He will stand for Labour in Offerton, taking over from former mayor Coun Laura Booth, who has decided not to run again.
Another town hall veteran retiring in May is Coun John Pantall, who has served on the council for no fewer than 42 years.
Jilly Julian will be hoping to pick up where he left off for the Lib Dems in Cheadle Hulme North. However the ward is often hotly contested and Labour’s Claire Vibert will be looking to emulate Coun David Meller’s narrow win in 2018.
Long-serving councillor Christine Corris is also retiring this year.
After representing Bredbury and Woodley since 1999 she is handing the reins over to Sue Thorpe to fly the flag for the Lib Dems.
Elsewhere, Darran Palmer will stand in Marple South and High Lane following Coun Tom Dowse’s move to London.
●●The full list of candidates is as follows:
* denotes defending candidate
** denotes a new candidate is defending the ward for the incumbent party
Deborah Hind - Green, Linda Holt * Conservative, Mark Jones- Liberal Democrats, Abd-Assamad Hassan Manhmud - Labour Bramhall South: Brian Bagnall * - Conservative, Andrew Dearden - Green, Sue Glithero - Labour, Ian Powney - Liberal Democrats Bredbury and Woodley: Louise Heywood - Labour, Timothy Morley Conservative Sue Thorpe ** - Liberal Democrats, Stephanie Wyatt - Green Bredbury Green and Romiley: Alex Crompton - Green Richard Ellis Conservative Lisa Smart * - Liberal
Democrats Rachel Wise - Labour
Brinnington and Central:
David Brewin - Liberal Democrats Natalie Fenton Conservative John Pearson - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts Andy Sorton * - Labour Karl Wardlaw - Green Cheadle and Gatley: Alexander Drury - Green Keith Holloway * - Liberal Democrats Colin Owen - Labour Adrian Walmsley Conservative
Cheadle Hulme North:
Sue Carroll - Conservative Jilly Julian ** - Liberal Democrats Michael Padfield - Green Claire Vibert - Labour and Co-operative Cheadle Hulme South: Paul Davies - Independent Taff Davies - Reform UK
Brian Dougal Conservative Mark Hunter * - Liberal Democrats James Mason - Labour Party Chitra Ramachandran Green Party
Davenport and Cale Green:
Gemma-Jane Bowker Liberal Democrats Paolo Granelli -Green Michael Lyons -Conservative Stephen Speakman Reform UK Wendy Wild * - Labour Edgeley and Cheadle Heath: Sheila Bailey * - Labour Shaughan Rick -Green Richard Walsh Conservative Tracey Whitmore - Liberal Democrats
Christine Carrigan Labour and Co-operative Catherine De Cadorette -