Surge of names put forward for by-election
There has been a surge of candidates nominated to stand in the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election since its announcement last week.
The search to find a replacement for Tory Stephen Phillips, who resigned over differences with the Government, has seen ten names officially throw their hats in the ring with one minister, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, already turning up to show his support while on a visit to Ash Villa.
Key issues emerging so far appear to be Brexit and threats to hospital services.
The Conservative party selected Dr Caroline Johnson, a 38-year-old consultant paediatrician at Peterborough Hospital. Dr Johnson previously stood in Scunthorpe for the Conservatives at the 2010 General Election and lives in Sudbrook, is married to Nik, a farmer, with three children.
The Labour party selected refuse lorry driver, former postman and GMB trade union shop steward Jim Clarke. Born in the constituency, he lives in Sleaford with his wife.
The Liberal Democrats have appointed Ros Pepper. Mr Pepper was the candidate for the Lib Dems in Lincoln in last year’s General Election. He is also chairman of the local party and a parish councillor for Skellingthorpe.
The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) have selected Victoria Ayling, who is a Lincolnshire County Councillor (Spilsby Fen division). Ms Ayling stood in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections for Lincolnshire earlier this year and in Great Grimsby in last year’s General Election.
The Lincolnshire Independents have chosen group leader Marianne Overton, a county councillor for Branston and Navenby division and Cliff Villages North Kesteven District councillor.
Peter E Hill (A.K.A. The Iconic Arty Pole) of Great Carlton, near Louth, is standing for the Official Monster Raving Looney Party.
Sarah Stock, a campaigner with the Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital group, will stand as an Independent. She trained as a nurse and lives in Billingborough with three children.
Paul Coyne, from Sleaford, is standing as an Independent and said in a statement this afternoon that he would be releasing details of the platform upon which he is standing over the course of the next few days.
David Laurence Bishop of New Basford, Nottingham, has also joined in, standing for the Bus-Pass Elvis Party.
Mark Suffield, a district councillor for Sleaford and living in the town, stands as an Independent.
The deadline for nominations closed at 4pm this afternoon.
The constituency covers all of the North Kesteven district – except for Skellingthorpe, Bracebridge Heath and upper Waddington – and also northern parts of South Kesteven, stretching down to and to the west of Grantham town.
Polling Day is Thursday, December 8, with 99 polling locations open between 7am and 10pm. The count will be held overnight and the results posted at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk
Postal voters will receive their papers around November 24.
There is still time to register to vote: closing at midnight on Tuesday, November 22. Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Applications for, and changes to established, postal votes must reach the local elections office by 5pm on Wednesday, November 23.
New proxy voting applications must reach NKDC’s elections office by 5pm on Wednesday November 30, with the deadline for proxy applications on emergency grounds being 5pm on Polling Day, Thursday December 8.
For electors who live in North Kesteven, the elections office is NKDC in Sleaford (01529 414155). For electors in South Kesteven, the elections office is SKDC in Grantham.
The election is being arranged by North Kesteven District Council and further information can be found at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk clicking through the prominent button for elections.
○ (Two more names are listed here than appear in The Standard tomorrow due to the timing of the closing date for nominations).