Have your say in council by-election for Wrentham ward

Generic ballot paper being put into a ballot box <PIC POSED>Ballot Boxes at City Hall being prepared

Generic ballot paper being put into a ballot box <PIC POSED> Ballot Boxes at City Hall being prepared for delivery to all the polling stations around the Norwich South area. Norwich South Election. Picture: James Bass For: EDP News Eastern Daily Press © 2010 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2010

Rural areas of Waveney must not be forgotten, candidates in a council by-election have said as voters prepare to go to the polls to choose a new representative for their area.

People living in the Wrentham ward - which includes Benacre, Covehithe, Brampton, Frostenden, Henstead, Hulver Street and Wrentham - have a chance to choose a new district councillor next Thursday (May 5) after Conservative Martin Parsons resigned to take up a new job supporting victims of jihadist violence in the Middle East.

Candidates from the Conservatives, Green Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) have been canvassing ahead of the poll, which was won by the Conservatives with 56.9 per cent of the vote last year.

Chris Thomas, standing for the Liberal Democrats, said people trying to raise their concerns in the area were often 'pushed to one side' and said: 'I want to make sure people from Wrentham aren't forgotten.' He listed traffic and the proposed fire station closure as the main issues.

Paul Tyack, standing for Labour, said the fire station is a 'big deal' but also cited a lack of nearby healthcare and difficulty finding affordable housing as key issues. 'I think the rural voice is incredibly important,' he said, saying he feels rural issues are not properly addressed.

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Craig Rivett, the Conservative candidate, was a senior manager for Royal Mail and said: 'Working with unions, I delivered business improvements, maintaining service to customers and protecting earning opportunities for staff. I hope to carry on Martin Parsons' great work.'

UKIP's Andrew Bols has worked for the Foreign Office on world affairs - but now finds himself dealing with local issues. He said housing was one the main issues and that all fire stations are 'crying out for more firemen - but people seem to be spending a fortune on adminstrators.' Also standing is David Brambley-Crawshaw for the Greens.

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? What do you think are the main issues in Wrentham? Write, giving your full contact details, to andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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