LOCAL ‘celebrities’ are set to spice up the fast-approaching Ashfield District Council elections by standing for seats in Hucknall.
Voters will go to the polls on Thursday May 5 to choose nine councillors to represent the town until 2015.
The election will be the first test of public opinion since last year’s General Election. And it will deliver the first verdict on the public-spending cuts imposed by the coalition government.
Already the election in Hucknall is shaping up to be one of the most interesting contests in living memory.
Among those confirmed as throwing their hat into the ring is well-known former miner and lifelong Hucknall resident Ian Morrison, who is secretary of the town’s Labour Party.
The 52-year-old, of Co-operative Avenue, will stand for Labour in the North ward alongside Hucknall’s most senior councillor, John Wilmott (Lab), who is the current deputy leader of the council.
Mr Morrison’s name will be joined on the polling cards by those of his sons, Keir (22), who will represent Labour in Hucknall East, and 21-year-old Lachlan, who will be a Labour candidate in Hucknall Central.
Lachlan will go head to head in Central with popular Hucknall musician and entrepreneur Ben Marshall, who will stand in the ward as a Conservative.
Ben (26) is well known as a front man of the group Phil Rostance and the Marshall Band. Through gigs, he has raised thousands for the Help For Heroes charity, and teaches music at Hillside Primary School in Hucknall.
Another eyecatching candidate is Richard Darrington, owner of The Empire pub and restaurant on Morven Avenue, off Beardall Street.
Mr Darrington (41), of Jenny Burton Way in the town, has decided to step forward as an Independent and is looking for election in the East ward.
Meanwhile experienced former councillor Chris Baron, who previously represented Hucknall on Notts County Council and Ashfield Council, will bid for a comeback when standing for Labour in West ward.
Other candidates already revealed include Labour hopefuls Dave Shaw (Hucknall East) and Trevor Locke (Hucknall Central), who are current members of Ashfield Council, and Ken Knight (Hucknall West).
For the Conservatives, candidates will be current county councillors Kevin Rostance and Mick Murphy, alongside Tony Arnold in West ward, current Ashfield member Coun John Dymock and Robert Copley (North), Trevor Peat and Ian Smith (East ward), while Mr Marshall will be joined by Steve Saddler in Central.
As for the Liberal Democrats, Coun Austin Rathe, a former deputy leader of the council, is to stand down.
Current Ashfield councillor Harry Toseland will be joined by his wife, Jean, and Ken Cotham as Lib Dem candidates in Hucknall West.