Adur District Council opposition parties will hope to make gains on the Conservatives in next month’s elections as the ruling party teeters close to losing its overall majority.
Voters will go to the polls in all 14 wards on Thursday, May 3, with the Tories defending nine seats, Labour one, UKIP two and two further Independent seats up for grabs.
The Tories currently occupy 16 of the 29 seats, with UKIP the official opposition with six to Labour’s four and three Independents.
Next month’s election will be contested by 13 Conservatives, 14 Labour candidates, 13 Liberal Democrats, ten UKIP and ten Greens.
UKIP’s level of representation is down on the 2016 Adur election, when the party fielded candidates in all 14 wards.
In contrast, the Greens stood in just six wards two years ago.
The fall in UKIP candidates follows the party’s decision not to contest the Mash Barn by-election in October – despite holding the seat –which Labour’s Lee Cowen went on to win.
Mr Cowen will have to seek re-election seven months on from his victory but will now face UKIP opposition, with community campaigner Amanda Jones stepping forward.
Labour is the only party seeking election in all 14 wards as it pushes to take over from UKIP as the official opposition.
The Conservatives are not standing in Marine, held by Independents put forward by Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association.
A total of four out of six of the current cabinet is seeking re-election, including council leader Neil Parkin.
Outside the cabinet, Jim Funnell (Con), Carol Albury (Con), Geoff Patmore (UKIP) and Stephen Chipp are standing again – although Mr Chipp has switched from St Mary’s to Southwick Green.
James Butcher (Con), Lyn Phillips (UKIP), Ben Stride (Ind), Ken Bishop (Ind) and Emily Hilditch (Con) are standing down.
Former Tory cabinet member for regeneration Pat Beresford is seeking a return after losing his seat to UKIP in 2016, while UKIP Lancing Parish Council chairman Gloria Eveleigh is among those hoping to step up to the district council.
See a full list of candidates at www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/elections-and-voting/upcoming-elections