Bassetlaw District Council is under Conservative control with a big majority – a third of he seats are up for election on May 6. But the Bassetlaw constituency is a challenging Target 162. Even with the boundary changes the notional Labour majority from 2005 would be over 8,000. On a uniform national swing with could have an overall majority of 60 on the House of Commons and still lose Bassetlaw.
So what is going on? One point is that three Conservative wards on Bassetlaw Council come under the Newark constituency of the excellent Conservative MP Patrick Mercer. But of the wards in the Bassetlaw constituency the Conservatives are still ahead – they won in 15 of them the last time they were contested compared to five for Labour and one Independent. (The 2008 ones are here.)
This year Bassetlaw has achieved a Council Tax freeze.The share of the Band D Council Taxit charges is £153 – compared to £185 in neighbouring Mansfield which is run by Independents. Under the Conservatives, Bassetlaw Council has achieved cleaner streets, promoted volunteering among young people and become more efficient in responding to queries from residents.