Five candidates to fight vacant council seat

Voters will go to the polls in Bloomfield
Voters will go to the polls in Bloomfield
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Five candidates will contest a by-election called in Blackpool following the resignation of a senior councillor.

Voters will go to the polls in Bloomfield ward on Thursday March 3 after Labour’s John Jones stepped down last month from his role representing the area on Blackpool Council.

All the main parties plus the Greens and UKIP are fielding candidates.

The nominees battling to take over the seat are Phill Armstrong of Hodder Avenue, South Shore, for the Green Party; Neil Close of Clinton Avenue, Blackpool, for the Liberal Democrats; Jim Hobson of Gloucester Avenue, Blackpool, for the Labour Party; Tony Jones of Osborne Road, South Shore, for the Conservatives, and Spencer Shackleton of Severn Road, South Shore, for UKIP.

John Jones, a former hotelier, stood down ‘for personal and family reasons’ according to a statement released by Blackpool Council.

He himself had been elected at a by-election in May 2012 following the death of former councillor Mary Smith, who also represented Labour.

Next month’s vote will be the first by-election in Blackpool since last May’s local elections when all 42 seats were contested.

Currently the council is made up of a ruling majority of 29 Labour councillors, with the opposition comprising 13 Conservatives.

The polling stations in Bloomfield ward will be open from 7am until 10pm on the day of the by-election to enable residents to cast their votes.

Councillors do not receive a salary although they can receive an allowance to help offset expenses or loss of earnings.