NOMINATIONS for seats on Gwent's five local authorities have been released ahead of next month's local government election.

A total of 713 people are running for seats in Newport, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Caerphilly, with mainstays Labour, the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats, Ukip and the Green Party represented alongside a number of fringe groups. A total of 114 candidates re running on Independent tickets.

The full list can be found on the website.

NEWPORT

A TOTAL of 164 candidates are running for seats on Newport City Council this year.

Labour, which currently controls the council, has the greatest number of nominees at 50, which theoretically means the party could hold every single seat.

The Conservatives come in second with 47, followed by the Liberal Democrats, putting in an impressive showing with 23 nominations.

The newly-formed Newport Independents Party also has a notable 18 nominees, while two former Labour councillors, Pill’s Omar Ali and Lliswerry’s Allan Morris, are also running separately on Independent tickets.

Ten nominees are running for Plaid Cymru, while Ukip and the Green Party have both fielded seven candidates.

Campaign Series:

Former council leader Bob Bright

Among those not standing in next month’s election are the council’s former leader Bob Bright, who announced he would not be contesting his Ringland seat when he stepped down from the top role last year.

Others not standing include Langstone’s David Atwell, who spent his final year on the council as mayor, as well as Rhys Hutchings of rap group Goldie Lookin’ Chain, who was elected as member for St Julians in 2014, and cabinet member for regulatory functions Robert Poole.

Campaign Series:

Rhys Hutchings

TORFAEN

NEXT month’s election will see 113 nominees contest 44 seats on Torfaen County Borough Council.

Labour has put forward 44 nominees, while 29 are running on an Independent ticket.

The Conservatives will contest 23 seats on the typically Labour-dominated authority, while 10 nominees are running for Ukip and five for Plaid Cymru.

The Green Party and the British Community Party have both also put forward one nominee each.

Although some of the council wards have been renamed since the previous election in 2012, the number of seats on the council remains the same at 44.

The most notable face to leave the council this year is Bob Wellington, who stepped down as leader last November after 13 years in the role, and 36 years as a local councillor.

Campaign Series:

Bob Wellington, the former leader of Torfaen

Other senior council members walking away this year are John Cunningham, who served Upper Cwmbran since 1978, and Gwyneira Clark, who was first elected as ward member for Abersychan in 1991.

Campaign Series:

John Cunningham 

BLAENAU GWENT

LABOUR has put forward the most candidates for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council for election on Thursday May 4.

Forty-six candidates from the party will be on the ballot papers, five more than the number of Independents.

Notably, Ukip has not fielded a single candidate, while Plaid Cymru has two nominees and the Wales Green Party one.

The Conservatives have three nominees, including two standing for election in the Rassau ward.

Three candidates on the nomination paper have not specified which party they are running for.

The total number of candidates running for seats on Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council is 96.

Blaenau Gwent is one of the most impoverished regions in Wales, and the UK as a whole, with high unemployment and child poverty and low wages.

But house prices are also famously low, and have at some points been the lowest in the country.

Labour will be looking for a strong result, with the polls seeing a swing to Plaid in the Assembly elections last year.

MONMOUTHSHIRE

THE 42 county council wards in Monmouthshire will be contested by 138 candidates next month.

As announced in January, Labour will contest every seat across the county for the first time in its history with 42 candidates, along with and one Labour and Co-operative member.

The Conservative Party will field 42 candidates while the Liberal Democrats have put forward 20.

A total of 25 Independent candidates will be standing alongside three from Plaid Cymru, three from the Green Party and two from Ukip, as well as one Labour and Co-Operative nominee.

The only ward with two councillors, Llanelly Hill, will be contested by two Labour candidates, one Conservative, an Independent and a member for Plaid Cymru.

Campaign Series:

Geoff Burrows

Outgoing cabinet member for education Liz Hacket Pain and Geoff Burrows, the previous cabinet member for social care, safeguarding and heath, have decided not to run those for re-election.

Bob Hayward (Dixton with Osbaston), Peter Farley (St Mary’s), Graham Down (Shirenewton) and Jessica Crook (The Elms) have also vacated their seats among others.

Campaign Series:

Graham Down

Elsewhere, there are 23 contested elections in town and community council wards.

CAERPHILLY

VOTERS in Caerphilly will have the greatest number of candidates to choose from in next month’s election, with 201 nominees running for the 73 seats on the council.

Labour, which has run the council since 2012, has fielded the greatest number of nominees at 71, followed by Plaid Cymru with 68.

There are also 28 candidates standing for the Conservatives while 17 are running on an Independent ticket.

Ukip has put forward 11 nominees, while three are running for the Liberal Democrats.

The Green Party, the Christian Peoples Alliance and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition have each also one nominee.

Campaign Series:

Keith Reynolds, the outgoing leader of the council in Caerphilly

Among those not running this month are leader Keith Reynolds, who announced in February he would be standing down due to ill health.

Cabinet members Ken James and Robin Woodyatt are also not running in next month’s election.