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Residents go to the polls

PUBLISHED: 15:25 14 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:00 25 August 2010

CANDIDATES in a by-election include a councillor's mother, a parliamentary candidate's wife and two former policemen.

CANDIDATES in a by-election include a councillor's mother, a parliamentary candidate's wife and two former policemen.

The East Wickham by-election, triggered by the death of former Bexley Mayor Alf Catterall last October, is due to be held next Thursday.

The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties fielded candidates as did the British National Party (BNP) and the English Democrats (ED).

Mr Catterall, a Tory councillor of 22 years experience and father of Peter Catterall, the cabinet member for arts, leisure and tourism, won his seat in 2006 with a third of the vote. This year, the Conservative candidate will be former Special Constable Steven Hall, 44, of Exeter Road, East Wickham.

The business consultant said: "I have no past experience in politics. This is where I like to think I differ from most, because I am not a career politician."

The Labour Party fielded Pat Ball, the mother of Chris Ball, leader of the opposition on Bexley council.

The Welling resident of 32 years pledged to campaign for meals-on-wheels, cleaner streets, and one-hour free parking in all Bexley car parks.

Grace Goodlad, partner of Old Bexley and Sidcup parliamentary candidate Duncan Borrowman, will stand for the Liberal Democrats, who came third in the 2006 election.

The former finance director for the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust was recently made redundant in credit crunch job cuts.

The 35-year-old said: "It has made me appreciate how difficult it is when these things happen to families."

The English Democrats, campaigners for an English parliament, will be represented by Laurence Williams.

Mr Williams has stood for election in Cray Meadows three times, twice under the name of different parties.

In 1998 he stood as an independent for the Monster Raving Loony Party, in 2002 he fought for the UK Independence Party, and in 2006 he stood as an independent.

He said: "When you have lived in an area for a while you realise that the same faces appear at the same time every year and there is no change.

"Sometimes you want to stand against the cartel."

BNP candidate Michael Barnbrook brought about the national expenses scandal last year by reporting Old Bexley and Sidcup MP Derek Conway to the parliamentary standards board.

Voting will take place between 7am and 10pm. To call Bexley council's election office dial 020 8294 6148.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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