Local Elections 2015: The state of play in north Northamptonshire

Borough and district council elections are also taking place on May 7
Borough and district council elections are also taking place on May 7

It’s not just national politicians who are after our votes on May 7.

Elections to many district and borough councils are taking place, including in Corby, Kettering, East Northants and Wellingborough.

Here is a guide to how the councils look. For a full list of candidates click on the name of the town.

CORBY

Until the last parliament was dissolved Corby had a Labour MP and its council is a Labour stronghold.

There are 15 wards in Corby with 29 councillors representing them. The Labour party holds 23 of these seats, with the Conservatives having four councillors and the Liberal Democrats two.

The last leader of the council was Tom Beattie and the mayor for 2014-15 has been Labour’s Anthony Dady.

There are six parish councils - Cottingham, East Carlton, Gretton, Middleton, Stanion and Weldon - and who serves on these for the next four years is also to be decided by the electorate on Thursday, May 7.

Rockingham does not have a parish council, instead holding parish meetings.

It has not all been plain sailing for Labour councillors on Corby Council over the past four years with criticism by Conservative councillors of the overspend on the Corby Cube, the cost of which went from £35m to £47m, and claims that land was sold to Tesco at below market value, leading to the council losing out on millions of pounds.

The council has been controlled by Labour since 1979. In 2012 it bid to gain city status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

EAST NORTHANTS

Forty council seats are up for grabs in East Northamptonshire in the 22 wards.

There are also elections being held in the 51 parish and town councils.

Parish or town councils are the most local level of government in England. They are independent of other levels of local government, and their powers vary depending on how large and how active they are.

Parish and town councils must meet four times a year and this must include one public meeting.

Larger parishes carry out many duties such as street lighting, managing cemeteries, allotments, commons, village halls, war memorials and markets.

The current leader of East Northamptonshire Council is Steve North, a Conservative who represents the Rushden Sartoris ward.

The Conservatives hold 35 of the 40 seats on the council, there are three Independents and two Labour councillors.

Councillors are not paid but do receive allowances and have to sign a Declaration of Interest which is published annually.

The 51 town and parish councils holding elections include Great and Little Addington, Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough, Oundle, Raunds and Ringstead.

KETTERING

After the borough elections of May 2011, the make-up of Kettering Council was 25 Conservative councillors, nine Labour, one Independent and one UKIP councillor.

The Conservative leader of the council is Cllr Russell Roberts.

Cllr Jonathan West, who is the Labour leader at the council, will be hoping to win a few more seats this time round.

The Conservatives took control of the council in 2003.

Labour have fielded candidates in all the wards, including three from the same family.

Former Kettering mayor Keli Watts, a councillor in the William Knibb ward, is hoping to get re-elected while her husband Ian is standing in the St Peter’s ward and her younger daughter, Rhiannon, is standing in the Ise Lodge ward.

Also standing in the Ise Lodge ward is Conservative Philip Hollobone, who is also hoping to get re-elected to Parliament.

Duncan Bain, who was mayor of Kettering in 2014-15, is standing again in the Piper’s Hill ward as a Conservative candidate.

There are also town and parish council elections in places as near to Kettering as Barton Seagrave and Burton Latimer and further afield including Ashley and Weston-by-Welland.

WELLINGBOROUGH

The 36 borough councillors are elected every four years and are fighting for their seats again next month.

The council has a Conservative majority, with 24 of the councillors being from the party, the remainder are Labour councillors. The council leader is Paul Bell.

Councillors represent residents at a local level and councils are responsible for providing local services and facilities.

Current mayor Jim Bass is standing again in the Harrowden and Sywell ward. He was elected in May 2011 as a Conservative but has since become an Independent candidate.

He will be facing Jennie Bone, the wife of Peter Bone, who is campaigning to get re-elected as the town’s MP.

People living in the villages around Wellingborough are also voting for their parish councillors, meaning people living from Bozeat to Wollaston will have to make three decisions on Thursday, May 7 - who they want to have as their MP, their borough councillor and their parish councillor.