THE LINE-UP of candidates has been announced for an historic election at Hart District Council.

The election is the first to take into account a recommendation by the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England to cut the number of councillors from 35 to 33, reducing 18 political wards to 11.

As previously reported in The Gazette, each ward will now have three councillors, which has led to wards such as Long Sutton and Eversley being axed and merged with Odiham and Hartley Wintney respectively.

Voters in each ward will be able to select three candidates to represent them, and every seat at Hart will be up for grabs for the election on Thursday, May 22.

In Odiham, Conservative candidates Ken Crookes, Stephen Gorys and John Kennett will all stand for re-election to the council. The other candidates are Michele Ali and Rob Blay, for UKIP, and Anthony Baines, for the Liberal Democrats.

In Hook, current Conser-vative councillors Brian Burchfield, Mike Morris and Jonathan Glen are all up for re-election.

They will face competition from two UKIP candidates, Richard Palmer and Ruth Hamilton, Labour candidates Beaumont and Jacqueline Nabbs, Liberal Democrat candidate Marguerite Simpson, and Independent candidate Robert Leeson.

In Hartley Wintney, Anne Crampton, Sara Kinnell and Tim Southern are the Conservative candidates up for re-election. They face a challenge from UKIP candidate Altay Ali, Liberal Democrat Tony Over, and Francis Gantley, for The Green Party.

The current council is made up of 17 Conservatives, nine Liberal Demo-crats, seven Community Campaign Hart, and two independents.