THE countdown is on to Bury Council’s elections with more than a third of the authority’s seats up for grabs when the polls open on Thursday, May 6.

Sixty-nine candidates will stand in battles across 17 areas in the borough, with the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats putting up one prospective councillor for each seat.

Bury is made up of 17 wards, and each ward is represented by three councillors.

Currently, the Labour Group have control over Bury Council with double the number of councillors than the next biggest group, the Conservatives.

Of the 51 councillors they currently have 28 seats, the Conservatives have 14 and the Liberal Democrats four.

Hyper-local party Radcliffe First have two councillors while there is one independent member and two vacant seats.

Radcliffe First will put out candidates for each of the town’s three wards, while the Green Party are hopeful of gaining support by fielding candidates in a number of districts.

Among other candidates, Victor Hagan will run as an independent in Moorside, while Stephen Morris runs for the English Democrats in Besses and Michael Foran stands for the Freedom Alliance in Tottington.

There will be two additional seats elected next week, with vacant positions in both North Manor and Moorside set to be filled meaning voters in those areas will select two representatives.

In all that means 19 councillors will be elected the the town hall next week.

Among councillors seeking re-election are Labour’s cabinet member for transport and infrastructure Lucy Smith while Tory Ian Schofield will be defending his seat in Ramsbottom.

Jihyun Park, 52, who fled North Korea before settling in Bury in 2008, has been selected to stand as a Conservative candidate for the Holyrood ward.

Ms Park is believed to be the first person of North Korean descent to stand for election in the UK.

Among the major campaigning issues for candidates are the future housebuilding policy in the borough with regard to green belt land and how best to support a post pandemic recovery.

Here is the list of candidates in full (KEY: Conservative (CON); Labour (LAB); Liberal Democrat (LD); English Democrats (ED); Green (GR); Radcliffe First (RF); Independent (IND);

Freedom Alliance (FA)

Besses: Cameron Fay (GR); Stephen Morris (ED); Lucy Smith (LAB); Philip Wharmby (CON); Mike Williams (LD)

Church: Lynd Arthur (LD); Jordan Lewis (CON); Michelle Sampson (GR); Josh Simons (LAB)

East: Ummrana Farooq (LAB); Stephen Lewis (LD); Shaf Mahmood (CON)

Elton: Jack Rydeheard (CON); Bryan Simpson (LD); Susan Southworth (LAB)

Holyrood: Christopher Baron (CON); Noel Bayley (LAB); Peter Curati (GR); Steven Wright (LD)

Moorside (two seats): Charlie Allen (GR); Ciaron Boles (LAB); David Foss (LD); Vicotor Hagan (IND); Jihyun Park (CON); Kevin Peel (LAB); Sohail Raja (CON)

North Manor (two seats): Ewan Arthur (LD); Roger Brown (CON); Helen Clarke (LAB); Liam Dean (CON); Mary Heath (GR), Euan Saunders (LAB)

Pilkington Park: Ayesha Arif (LAB); Russell Bernstein (CON); Glyn Heath (GR); Jaroslaw Lytwyn (LD)

Radcliffe East: Carol Birchmore (RF); Rhyse Cathcart (LAB); Rodney Rew (LD); Raymond Solomon (CON)

Radcliffe North: Babar Ibrahim (LAB); Kingsley Jones (LD); Jo Lancaster (CON); Glyn Marsden (RF)

Radcliffe West: Spencer Donelly (LAB); David Lewis (CON); Gareth Staple-Jones (RF); Sarah Thorpe (LD)

Ramsbottom: Tom Pilkington (LAB); Jacob Royde (LD); Ian Schofield (CON)

Redvales: Shabaz Arif (CON); Andrew Entwistle (LD); Shaheena Haroon (LAB); Paul Johnstone (GR)

Sedgley: Carol Bernstein (CON); Ugonna Edeoga (LD); Debbie Quinn (LAB)

St Marys: Sam Butler (Lab); Garet Lloyd-Johnson (LD); Antonello Riu (CON)

Tottington: Michael Foran (FA); Angela Graham (GR); Sandra Lloyd Johnson (LD); Luis McBriar (CON); William Sellers (LAB)

Unsworth: Nathan Boroda (LAB); Michael hankey (LD); Anton Slawycz (CON)