PARKING on grass verges, potholes, fly-tipping and dog fouling will be among the top issues motivating residents will electing a new council to represent them for the next four years, it has been claimed.

Many sitting Darlington Borough councillors say while those issues have been among the most regularly raised as they have canvassed voters, there is also much concern over the future of the town centre.

Candidates, who say they have been regularly taken to task by residents over Brexit-related matters despite having the council having little influence in Westminster, believe other key battlegrounds will be over approaches to tackling antisocial behaviour, improving the local economy and housing provision.

The poll, from 7am to 10pm tomorrow (Thursday, May 2) will see 131 candidates contesting for the 50 seats on the council, split across 20 wards within the borough.

The authority has been run by Labour, except for between 1976 and 1979, when it had a Tory administration, and from 1987 to 1991, when there was no overall control.

Political groups said they expected some of the seats see similarly narrow margins of victory to the last election in 2015, which saw Rachel Mills secure a Brinburn and Faverdale seat for the Conservatives by just 21 votes, and Labour North Road member Dawn Storr win her seat by just 18 votes.

Labour will compete for all 50 seats on the authority, while the Conservatives will field 46 candidates, with fewer people than Labour contesting for places on the council in Eastbourne, Bank Top and Lascelles and Stephenson wards.

The Green Party will field 22 candidates, across 20 of the authority’s 20 wards.

In 2015, despite fielding candidates in all 20 wards the Green Party failed to win a seat on the council, which was composed of 29 Labour seats, 17 Conservative, three Liberal Democrat and one Independent.

The Liberal Democrats will have eight candidates, with three candidates in both Park East and North Road.

There will be three candidates representing The For Britain Movement, in Brinkburn and Faverdale, Northgate and Park East wards, and two running as UK Independence Party candidates, in North Road and Park East wards.