Less choice in elections

A FALL in the number of candidates for local government seats are set to limit the choices for voters in the local elections today.

Wirksworth and Bakewell tarish council seats are uncontested as nominations equate to the number of seats available.

West Derbyshire MP Patrick McLoughlin said: "The parish council problem is down to the new restrictions that the Government put on them making it more difficult."

Every council had to adopt a new Code of Conduct on or before May 5 last year.

Its members then had to sign up to that code within two months and complete their registration of interests within 28 days.

Mr McLoughlin added: "People think, why give up my time if I cant be trusted."

In the local council elections for Derbyshire Dales District Council, 13 of the 39 council seats have uncontested candidates and will therefore be elected automatically.

Mr McLoughlin said: "I was staggered when I heard. Never before have we had 13 uncontested seats."

The number of uncontested seats is higher than any other council in the country.

Mr McLoughlin added: "I very much hope that the electors in all the seats that do have more than one candidate, will still take this opportunity to cast their vote and make their views known."

By Moira Browne