POLITICAL battle lines have been drawn for the county council seats throughout Hexham.

The Conservatives currently hold Hexham Central with Acomb and Hexham East with Coun. Trevor Cessford and Coun. Cath Homer currently incumbent.

They will both re-stand for election in May’s election, and Hexham Town Council member Liam Panesh hopes to usurp current councillor for Hexham West, Independent Derek Kennedy, to make it a clean sweep for the Tories in the town.

But Labour are looking to muscle in on the town too, and Penny Grennan, the party’s parliamentary candidate in the 2019 General Election, is looking to take the Hexham Central seat.

She finished second to Conservative MP Guy Opperman, but is hoping she can get in at a more local level.

Elsewhere in the town, Guy Hinton is standing for Labour in the Hexham East ward and Victor Ball in Hexham West.

The Hexham seats are expected to be hotly contested with the Liberal Democrats mounting a serious challenge.

In Ginnie O’Farrell (Hexham Central) and Suzanne Fairless-Aitken (Hexham East), the party has two popular candidates who are looking to upset the apple cart next month.

The Greens are targeting the town too with Keith Mallinson going for Hexham Central and Cameron Whiteley standing in Hexham West.

The latter will go up against current councillor Derek Kennedy, who will be hopeful of keeping the ward Independent.

Speaking on behalf of the Tory candidates, Coun. Cessford said: “It’s a great privilege for us to be selected to stand for the Hexham wards in the forthcoming county council elections this May.

“Hexham is a great town with many fantastic attributes but there is still work to be done. The building of two new schools is well under way and many developments are progressing round the town – the redevelopment of the old swimming baths, Hadrian House, Prospect House and the building on Corbridge Road.

“The Hexham High Street Heritage Action Zone is a welcome investment into the very heart of our town, and in the next months the priority has to be about finding ways to help support our town, its people and its businesses recover from the Covid pandemic and the adverse effects of three lockdowns.

“Kickstarting the local economy and creating the right conditions to encourage new investment, businesses and jobs is vital, as is promoting Hexham as a key cultural, activity and tourism destination in the county. This includes more and better events, new experiences to try, places to stay and accessibility for walkers and cyclists as well as those in vehicles.”