CANDIDATES are gearing up to fight for 51 places on Derwentside District Council, in the local elections on May 1.

For the first time, all residents on the electoral roll will have the chance to vote by post in this election.

Four of the seats will not be contested - three in South Moor and one in Burnhope. All will be filled by Labour councillors.

For the first time, the British National Party is fielding some candidates, as reported in last week's Advertiser.

The main contenders are the Labour Party and Derwentside Independents. The list of candidates is as follows:

Annfield Plain Ward (three seats)

Alan Atkinson (Lab); Carl David Christer (Lab); Dennis Lavin (Lab); Alexander John Nelson (Lib Dem).

Benfieldside Ward (three seats)

Duncan Ian Barnett (D Ind); Peter Michael Carr (C); John Dodd, (Lab); Keith English (Lib Dem); Derek Hume (D Ind); Bruce Neilson McCaig (Lib Dem); Joseph Michael Rogan, (Lab); Joseph Toner (Lab).

Blackhill Ward (three seats)

Thomas Clark (Lab); Peter Norman Hopper (BNP); David Gwyn Llewellyn (Lab); Michael John Malone (Lab).

Burnhope Ward (one seat)

No contest - Denise Bennett (Lab).

Burnopfield Ward (three seats)

Robert Alderson (D Ind); Walter Armstrong (Lab); Thomas Edward Charlton (D Ind); Ivan Jewell (Lab); Eunice Wilkinson Turnbull (Lab).

Castleside Ward (one seat)

Gordon Campbell Glass (Ind); John Keir Pears (Lab); Ivy Wilson (C).

Catchgate Ward (two seats)

Hilary Christer (Lab); Frances Nelson (Lib Dem); William Proud (Lab).

Consett East Ward (one seat)

Robert Nixon (Lab); David Agutter Rolfe (Lib Dem); Frederick Todd (D Ind).

Consett North Ward (three seats)

Catherine Clarke (Lab); Anthony Donaghy (Lab); Barbara Joan Ratcliffe (Lib Dem); James Robinson (D Ind); Alexander Watson (Lab).

Consett South Ward (two seats)

John Ian Agnew (Lab); Peter William Anderson (Ind); Derek Draffan (D Ind); Derek Hicks (D Ind); Alan Scarr (Lab).

Cornsay Ward (one seat)

Alan James Mollon (Lab); John Pickersgill (D Ind);

Craghead and South Stanley Ward (three seats)

Tracy Davinson (Lab); Janice Docherty (Lab); Leonard Donkin (D Ind); Susan Donkin (D Ind); John Henry Fothergill (Lab).

Delves Lane Ward (three seats)

Barry Thomas Breeze (Lab); Daniel Stephen Brown (C); Eric John Shaw Edwards (Lab); Christine English (Lib Dem); Atherley Edward Hodgson (Lab); Richard McArdle (Ind).

Dipton Ward (two seats)

Joanne Carr (Lab); Thomas Senior Foggett (D Ind); Reginald Ord (D Ind); Carol Rocke (Lab).

Ebchester and Medomsley Ward (three seats)

George Andrew Adams (C); Colin Bell (Lab); Vincent McCardle (D Ind); Alan Shield (D Ind); Eric Turner (Lab); Kenneth Walker (Lab); Carol Tracy Watson (D Ind).

Esh Ward (three seats)

Patricia Ann Adams (C); Gordon Coulson (Lab); Henry Shaw Guildford (Lab); Alison Mary Hiles (Lab); Wallace Joseph Tyrie (D Ind).

Havannah Ward (three seats)

Andrew David Curtis (Lib Dem); Kevin Howe (Lab); Malcolm Jefferson (BNP); George Derrick Little (Lab); Anne Taylor (Lab).

Lanchester Ward (three seats)

Colin Burton (Lab); Neil Fleming (Lab); John Gordon Ingham (D Ind); Oswald Johnson (Lab);

Russell Alan Ross (C); Kenneth Hall Wilson (C); Richard Young (D Ind).

Leadgate Ward (three seats)

Jean Huntley (Lab); Margaret Jopling (D Ind); Thomas Lawrie (Lab); Terence Richardson (Lab); Watts Stelling (D Ind).

South Moor Ward (three seats)

No contest

Elizabeth Jane Coulson (Lab); James Thompson Stoker (Lab); Darren Vincent McMahon (Lab).

Stanley Hall Ward (three seats)

David Broadley (Lab); Janet Temperley Greener (Lab); Gillian Raine (Lib Dem); Stuart Tilney (C); Claire Louise Vasey (Lab).

Tanfield Ward (three seats)

Thomas Alan Henderson (Lab); Bryan Johnson, (D Ind); Olga Milburn (Lab); Elizabeth Minto (D Ind); Joseph Wilson (Lab).

Key: (Lab) Labour; (Lib Dem) Liberal Democrats; (C) Conservative; (D Ind) Derwentside Independents; (Ind) Independent; (BNP) British National Party.