CANDIDATES have been announced for this year’s local elections, with less than a month to go before residents go to the polls.
Only four parties are fielding a full slate of candidates, across all 17 wards - the Conservatives, Labour, Greens and SAMRA.
The Lib Dems, who rule the council with Labour, are not contesting Castle Bromwich or Chelmsley Wood.
Those wards have just four candidates, while, at the other end of the scale, there will be seven-way battles in Elmdon, Lyndon and Silhill.
There’s also a far smaller showing from the BNP this year - they lost their one council seat last May and field just two candidates this time.
Councillor Ian Hillas, who admitted sexual assault last year, will not stand for re-election in Castle Bromwich.
The former Conservative councillor has sat as an independent since his conviction - though he has continued to vote with the Tories.
Also stepping down are Lib Dems Len Cresswell (Blythe) and Leela Widger (Silhill).
Both seats, which were valuable gains from the Tories, are likely to be among the closest-fought across the whole borough.
Several ex-councillors will be battling to get back into town hall, including former Labour leader Hugh Hendry.
Others on the come-back trail include Ken Hawkins (Con), Robert Hall (Con) and Trevor Eames (SAMRA).
Parties will also be fighting over one vacant seat in Shirley West - Bryn Tudor was thrown off the council for poor attendance last year.
* Local elections will be held on May 5. The deadline for postal vote applications is next Thursday, April 14.