FOUR candidates hoping to make it onto Maldon District Council will fight a by-election tomorrow.

Residents in Wickham Bishops and Woodham ward, Maldon, will vote between 7am and 10pm tomorrow (February 24) on who they want to represent them and the issues they care about.

The seat was previously held by Karl Jarvis, a former Conservative but later non-aligned independent, who resigned from the council earlier this year.

Maldon District Council usually elects all its councillors at once, every four years, with the last election being in 2019.

READ MORE: Council announces by-elections after resignations of two councillors

There are currently 31 members in total, including 11 from the Independent Group, 10 from the Conservatives, three non-aligned Conservatives, six non-aligned independents and one vacancy, which is to be filled by tomorrow’s by-election.

Earlier this month, the council announced the poll for February 24 and the names of those running.

Colin Baldy (Liberal Democrat)

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Colin BaldyColin Baldy

Colin Baldy said in a statement: "Since becoming Chair of the Maldon branch of the Liberal Democrats in 2019, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve managed to achieve in terms of rebuilding the party locally.

"When I stood as the candidate in the 2019 General Election, we managed to increase the vote by 7.5 per cent. In last year’s Essex County Council elections, we nearly doubled the vote with a 9.34 per cent swing from the Conservatives.

"The Lib Dems are now in a strong second place in the Maldon District; a long way ahead of any of the other non Conservative candidates.

“As a Lib Dem, I believe in fairness and respect for all. I believe that it’s well past time to clean up politics here in Maldon.

"The disgraceful scenes witnessed in recent council meetings have brought Maldon into disrepute and made us a laughing stock nationally.

READ MORE: Police called to council meeting after councillor brands colleagues 'idiots' in ban row

"Moreover, such behaviour has caused paralysis within the council, making it difficult to hold sensible debates and to reach decisions.

“Maldon Lib Dems will continue to campaign on behalf of local residents and organisations.

"We ran a successful petition to stop the Yacht Club being evicted and are currently very concerned about MDC proposals to close the Cricket Pitch: the very pitch where former England captain Alastair Cook started his career.

"We will also continue to campaign for a resolution to the long-running saga of the very real need for a replacement for St Peter’s Hospital.

"There has been a huge amount of over-development in the district with far too little, if any, improvements in infrastructure.

"Maldon Lib Dems will work to ensure proper scrutiny of any future development proposals, along with agreeing properly enforced Section 106 agreements forcing developers to invest in local infrastructure.

"There is much wrong in our country at present and much of the responsibility for that lies with central government.

"Making changes locally can lead to big changes nationally.

"Government, nationally and locally, should be there to ensure that every resident has the best opportunities and services possible."

Simon Morgan (Conservative)

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Simon MorganSimon Morgan

According to a statement by Maldon Conservatives, Simon Morgan says he is “ideally placed” to support local parish councils with the adoption of their Neighbourhood Plans, as a former solicitor.

He also says his key priorities are speeding traffic, illegal encampments and littering.

Mr Morgan said: “I am delighted to have been selected to fight this election and I look forward to speaking with residents during the ensuing campaign.

"I have lived locally for the past 22 years with my family and we love this area because of its history, the beautiful countryside and the warmth and friendliness of its residents.

“As a soldier and then as a solicitor protecting and representing others has always been important to me.

"As a district councillor, I would make sure that Wickham Bishops and the surrounding villages continue to be a place where everyone can feel at home and feel safe with well-run public services.”

Lance Peatling (Independent)

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Lance PeatlingLance Peatling

Lance Peatling said in a statement that his lack of political affiliation means he could represent residents “without conflict”, and is strongly opposed to large scale housing schemes in the district, although sympathetic to smaller developments.

Mr Peatling said: “My specific concerns are that councillors should use their vote for the clear betterment of their electorate and not simply in support of any political parties’ unaccountable ambitions.

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“I am deeply concerned by the behaviour of Maldon District Council and strongly support community engagement in local decision making to encourage greater transparency.

“Local roads and services are under unsustainable pressure, a build it and they will come policy is not lending itself to the good of the larger community.

“The protection and preservation of our local environment and heritage, and finally encouragement of community participation in civil discourse in a time when our long held civil liberties are increasingly under threat.”

Matthew Wallis-Keyes (Labour)

Matthew Wallis-Keyes is standing as the Labour candidate for the Wickham Bishops and Woodham ward.

Maldon Labour was approached for comment.