It may have been overshadowed by the calling of a General Election in June, but voters will go to the polls before that to elect local councillors.
All seats at Nottinghamshire County Council are up for election on Thursday, May 4.
The council is currently made of 67 councillors, across 54 divisions.
Although officially under No Overall Control, it is led by the Labour Party, who hold 32 seats, ahead of the Tories with 21. There are also five Liberal Democrat councillors, four Ashfield Independents and two Mansfield Independent Forum members and three Independents.
After the election, 66 councillors will represent 55 divisions.
Voters in Newark district divisions will each elect one councillor to represent them. We asked the candidates all to submit some details about themselves in the run up to voters going to the polls.
BLIDWORTH DIVISION (one seat)
Philip Smith (LD)
Bill Turnbull (Con)
The Blidworth division of Nottinghamshire County Council also includes Rainworth, which is where Bill lives with his wife. He’s been working for a year now to get out and speak to local residents and to understand the views of people across the area. He is committed to listening and acting on your behalf, instead of ignoring the views of local people as has often been the case in the past. Until recently, Bill ran his own business, and has a special interest in social enterprise and support for people with learning difficulties due to himself having a daughter with Down’s syndrome. He’s been working on behalf of residents to deal with the recent Traveller Site application in Rainworth that has caused concerns, as well as regularly meeting with the local MP to update him on issues from the area and get his support.
Chris Wharton (Ind)
As a local resident of Blidworth and Rainworth area for 14 years, I firmly believe our two great villages need a fresh boost of energy to drive us in a more positive direction. I believe our villages deserve better and we need change. I firmly believe local majority opinion on matters that affect us should be fully supported by any county councillor regardless of the councillor’s own personal opinions. If elected, I would never go against the will of the majority opinion of local people. I also believe county councillors should always be in touch with local people and always listen to their views and support the majority accordingly – this is democracy.
Voting for me as an Independent candidate would mean you would be voting for a dedicated, locally minded county councillor who would only have the best interests of local folk at heart, a candidate who cannot be influenced by a large political party with headquarters based in London
Yvonne Woodhead (Lab)
Yvonne was born in Blidworth and educated in both Blidworth and Rainworth before going on to West Nottinghamshire College. Yvonne has been the county councillor for Blidworth and Rainworth for several terms of office. Yvonne has been married to John for 46 years, living in Blidworth for most of that time. Together, they have three grown-up sons who were educated in local schools and several grandchildren. Yvonne played a leading role in saving the Blidworth Dale Lane Allotments from large-scale development. She has also supported a number of community groups and the much-needed skateboard park in Rainworth. Yvonne was also involved in the Blidworth Play Area refurbishment scheme and pledges to continue to support the Libraries in both villages. Yvonne was elected cice-chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council in 2015/16 and chairman in 2016/17. She is also a district councillor, a Blidworth parish councillor and is on the Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust council of governors.
OLLERTON DIVISION (one seat)
Glenn Bardill (Con)
A former chairman of the Sherwood constituency Labour Party, Glenn left and joined the Conservatives in 2014 as he felt an increasingly left-wing Labour was failing to represent people effectively. He stood for election to Newark & Sherwood District Council in 2015 for the Conservatives and also played a key role in the re-election of Mark Spencer as the MP. As a manager in a local supermarket in Ollerton, Glenn has a wealth of professional experience he can bring to the role of county councillor and his history in local politics means he understands the system and how to get the best possible outcomes for the area. He feels Labour takes the voters of Ollerton for granted and local people deserve better, so he’s asking for your support on May 4.
Christopher Cooke (LD)
Mike Pringle (Lab)
Mike has served a long-term mechanical apprenticeship, work which took him into building heavy duty hydraulic mining machinery and, in turn, to him working at Ollerton Colliery as an underground development fitter. After the closure of the colliery in 1994 Mike travelled to Leicestershire having found work outside the area as a production manager within the chemical industry. Due to family illness Mike moved back to Nottinghamshire, starting a small fabrication business which primarily concentrated on manufacturing large security entrance gates and access control systems. Having been elected as county councillor in 2014, Mike has supported many sports clubs and charities and worked tirelessly to promote the Ollerton division with its ever-developing town and rural areas. Mike is honoured to have been elected, also to serve as mayor of Ollerton and to serve as vice-chairman of the county council in 2016/17.
SHERWOOD FOREST DIVISION (one seat)
Michael Brown (Con)
Michael Brown in an Edwinstowe Parish Council member, NHS worker and Trade Union Representative who has worked hard his whole life to help people. Whether that’s at the Nottinghamshire hospital where he works, protecting his colleagues through his Trade Union, or at the council where he has worked to hold the Labour leadership to account with some incredibly positive results. For Michael, the community is the key and he will work to bring everyone together across the area to make improvements on major issues like road safety, fixing our streets and pavements, and ensuring that we have a positive environment for new jobs and businesses. Michael wants to deal with road safety and congestion issues in key areas, and bring in new investment to create jobs and boost our local economy.
John Peck (Lab)
John has been a county councillor since 2012, representing soon-to-be disbanded Rufford division, which includes Edwinstowe, Clipstone, Kings Clipstone, Bilsthorpe and Rufford. John has been the chairman of the children and young people’s committee for the past four years, responsible for education, children’s social care and the youth Service in Nottinghamshire. John is a former primary school headteacher, who lives with his family in Edwinstowe. John is a parish councillor and a local magistrate and a member of the Sherwood Forest regional park board. John has been leading a campaign to get the Robin Hood railway line extended to Edwinstowe and Ollerton.
Peter Scorer (LD)
Roger Jackson (Con)
Ed Lyons (Lab)
Stuart Thompstone (LD)
MUSKHAM & FARNSFIELD
Peter Harris (LD)
Bruce Laughton (Con)
Richard Pain (Grn)
Jeremy Spry (Lab)
Jeremy’s introduction to Nottinghamshire came about in 1985, due to working a short-term contract with Rushcliffe Borough Council’s treasury department. He fell in love with this county and moved here with his family to work as a manager in the chemical industry. From the chemical industry, he started his own small business and continued to work in Nottinghamshire. Being a part of the community in Nottinghamshire has been important to Jeremy. He believes our villages and towns are things to be proud of, as is our countryside. It is this feeling of belonging which has motivated Jeremy to stand in the forthcoming county council elections. Jeremy has lots to offer the people of Muskham and Farnsfield and he would like to give something back to this county. Jeremy serves as a town councillor and understands the need for committed representation. He said: “I am in a position to be able to commit to this work and to my community.”
Con – The Conservative Party;
Ind – Independent;
Lab - The Labour Party;
LD - Liberal Democrats;
Grn – The Green Party;
UKIP – UK Independence Party.