Four face off in controversial by-election poll

The Lytham St John's ward by-election will take place on February 9
The Lytham St John's ward by-election will take place on February 9
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Mark Bamforth will face three rivals in his bid to win back his former Fylde Council seat in next month’s by-election.

The St John’s ward poll on Thursday, February 9 will see former incumbent Mr Bamforth of the Ratepayers up against Jayne Clare Boardman of the Labour Party, Paul James Alexander Hill of the Green Party and Paul Lomax of the Conservatives. The polls will be open from 7am to 10pm.

Mr Bamforth, a long-time sufferer from agoraphobia - a fear of being in public places - lost his seat after failing to attend a single council or committee meeting in six months, breaching the Local Government Act.

Once the by-election was confirmed, calls were made for Mr Bamforth to be allowed to stand unopposed and Fylde Liberal Democrats, in not fielding a candidate, say they are standing by that call.

Bill Winlow, chairman of Fylde Liberal Democrats, said: “We acknowledge that he is a popular politician and while we don’t condone his non-attendance at meetings, we feel the situation could have been handled far better by the Conservative-controlled council.

“Should Mark Bamforth be re-elected, Fylde Liberal Democrats would expect to see the council and Mark Bamforth work together to ensure the councillor’s greater involvement in the regular work of committees and working groups.

“While a long list of candidates standing in elections is preferable in a democracy, on this occasion splitting the anti-Tory vote won’t achieve anything.”