THE battle lines have been drawn for next month’s local elections with all the candidates now announced.
Four years ago, the BBI delivered the ‘political earthquake’ it had promised when it took 25 of Boston Borough Council’s 32 seats.
This time, it will face all-new opposition as Portuguese, Lithuanian and Polish nationals join the campaign trail, along with 11 candidates from the once marginal English Democrats.
Leader of the BBI Coun Richard Austin said he was ‘very much optimistic’ about the group’s chances come polling day, May 5.
The group’s number has fallen to 18 since the 2007 landslide and three cabinet members are standing down. After contesting every seat last election, it is now going for five fewer, but still has a candidate in every ward.
Coun Austin said he was looking forward to a ‘positive campaign’.
“I think the public will appreciate the raft of achievements we have been able to put in place,” he said.
The Tories have the second largest number of election candidates – some 25 across 16 of the 18 wards.
Boston Conservative branch chairman Coun Raymond Singleton-McGuire described BBI’s ruling status as ‘an unprecedented fluke’ and said a Tory administration was the ‘only way’ to move the town forward.
The Tories count a Polish and a Lithuanian national among its candidates, while three of the four Liberal Democrats standing are Portuguese nationals.
Lib Dem candidate Paul Appleby said he hoped it would help bring Boston’s diverse population together.
Coun Singleton-McGuire said: “They wanted a voice to represent their people.”
The English Democrats, which in 2007 had just one nominee, now has 11 standing.
Candidate Elliott Fountain, who is overseeing the party’s campaign, said it showed people’s desire for ‘a change’.
The Labour Party, which lost all 12 of its seats in 2007, has 11 candidates standing.
Nominee and election coordinator for Paul Kenny said the party would be campaigning for ‘local councillors who stand up for people making sure they get value for money and the people of the area get heard’.
There are also 10 independent candidates and eight standing for the UK Independence Party.