WITH the Shropshire Council elections looming, the Conservatives have announced more candidates hoping to hold onto the party’s seats in the north of the county.

The poll, scheduled to be held on May 6 – pandemic allowing – will see a new cohort of 74 councillors elected to serve a four-year term. Seats will also be up for grabs on all town and parish councils.

All three Whitchurch councillors – Peggy Mullock, Tom Biggins and Gerald Dakin – have been re-selected.

Councillors Mullock and Councillor Biggins have both represented Whitchurch North since Shropshire Council was established following a local government reorganisation in 2009.

Councillor Mullock said: “Living in the town, I have a real insight into the problems we face in current times. I pledge to continue working with your ‘town team’ and the whole community to develop and improve Whitchurch.

“Listening to your views we will achieve together. The future is challenging, but working in partnership we can continue to improve Whitchurch and the well-being of residents – getting the job done together.”

Cllr Biggins, who currently chairs Shropshire County Pension Fund, said he “cares deeply” about the town he has called home for his entire life.

Cllr Biggins said: “My campaigning has helped to save Whitchurch Hospital in 2005, kept two rescue vehicles at Whitchurch Fire Station, lobbied for the introduction of the town centre bus service, and installed speed limits and pelican crossings.

“I am currently campaigning for the speed limits along both Chester Road and Tarporley Road to be extended to the bypass.

“I am concerned about the impact that the pandemic is having on the lives of local people, the viability of businesses especially in the town centre and everyone connected to hospitality and tourism.

“I continue to support the building of a new medical centre at Pauls Moss which Shropshire Council is financially supporting with over £3m of funding.”

Cllr Dakin is hoping to hang on to his Whitchurch South seat, which he has held since the council was formed.

He said: “I was born in Prees and spent most of my life in North Shropshire with the last 20 years being spent in Whitchurch.

“I have represented Whitchurch at all levels of local government and privileged to have been a Shropshire Councillor since its inception in 2009, and continue to support the wellbeing and inclusion of our town and the surrounding areas.

“I continue to support residents in any way that I am able.”

Prees councillor Paul Wynn has also been re-selected, having represented the Prees division since 2009 and also served on the old district council.

He said: “My main interest on the council is planning which I am chairman of at the moment, I am also on the fire authority for the past six years.

“I feel my main contact with everybody is through the parish councils.

"I try to attend as many meetings as possible and work with the parish councils. I have also helped as many of the parishioners as much as possible.”

In Hodnet, long-serving Cllr Karen Calder will step down and new candidate Paul Gill has been selected by the party to contest the seat.

Mr Gill, a former army officer who now works in hospitality, has previously spent five years as chairman of Prees Parish Council and also held the role of vice-chair of the Local Joint Committee.

He said: “During this period I was involved in developing the local plan, we rolled out SmartWater technology into Higher Heath, fought a campaign to keep the local retained fire stations and supported communities to reduce road traffic speed. I also campaigned for youth services in Whitchurch.

“I now have the energy and passion to champion the needs of local people at Shropshire Council.”