Election nominations closing start political campaigns in Dudley

Thursday, 4 April 2024 20:11

By Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter

Dudley Council election candidates will know full details of their opponents when nominations are announced next week, as all 72 council seats are up for grabs in what is known as an ‘all out’ election.

Usually voters only get the chance to choose one of the three councillors for each of the authority’s wards at any single election. However, a review of ward boundaries means the entire council will be included in the 2024 vote.

Nominations close on April 5 and the full list of hopefuls will be published on April 8 which will fire the starting gun on a vital phase of the campaign.

The council is currently under Conservative control with 41 seats but Labour will be looking to increase their number of councillors from 27. There are three independent councillors and one Lib Dem but smaller groups could have a big say after votes have been counted on May 3.

The Lib Dems are hoping to take votes from both Labour and the Tories in their target seats in Cradley, Lye, Wollescote and Pedmore.

A group of independents including former Conservative council leader and mayor, Anne Millward, along with current councillors and ex-Tories Shaun Keasey and Mark Westwood, are aiming to win seats in Gornal and Sedgley.

Kingswinford could be tricky for the Conservatives after a shock announcement from Tory stalwart, Cllr Peter Miller, that he was leaving to stand as an independent. A group of community activists in Kingswinford led by former Conservative councillor Shaz Saleem is also looking to boost the number of councillors who are not members of the two big parties by claiming council seats on May 2.

Despite challenges from independents and poor opinion poll ratings for the government in Westminster, Dudley Conservatives believe they have a strong message for voters based on encouraging regeneration and bringing the council back from financial meltdown.

Labour is looking to capitalise on the unpopularity of the Conservative government and has already wheeled out the big hitters. Party leader Sir Keir Starmer visited Dudley on March 28 with a message that the local Labour group has a plan to tackle the cost of living crisis and get high streets thriving.

There will be two other elections on May 2, voters will be asked to choose a West Midlands mayor and West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner when they visit their local polling station.


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