The three main parties are contesting all 18 seats up for grabs this election in Wokingham.

Voters in the borough go to the polls on Thursday, May 6, although many are expected to vote by post due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The elections were meant to take place last year, but were cancelled after the pandemic hit and the UK was put into lockdown.

It will see all three of the Wokingham party leaders try to cling onto their seats on the council.

John Halsall, the incumbent borough council leader for the Conservative party, will be fending off Liberal Democrat challenger Martijn Andrea and Labour candidate Stuart Cranier in Cllr Halsall’s current seat of Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe. Last election, in 2016, Cllr Halsall received a majority of 704 votes, winning 930 votes in total.

Meanwhile, in Twyford, Liberal Democrat leader Lyndsay Ferris will be defending his place on the council against Conservative candidate Grant Woolner and Labour activist Caroline Hill. When he was last elected in 2016, Cllr Ferris received 1,173 votes, a majority of 468.

Wokingham Labour leader Andy Croy will be hoping to cling on to his seat in Bulmershe & Whitegates.

Other candidates are seeking to reclaim their seats on the council that they lost in previous elections.

Wokingham Borough Council has been controlled by the Conservative Party for almost 20 years. They currently hold 31 of the 54 seats and are looking to increase their majority in May.

Councillors in Wokingham are elected for four year terms. Incumbent councillors in this election were last elected in 2016.

So here are some of the ones to watch this year:


Bracknell News: Julian McGhee-Sumner, Conservative candidate for Norreys ward. Julian McGhee-Sumner, Conservative candidate for Norreys ward.

One candidate who is no doubt eager to get back into the borough chamber is Conservative Julian McGhee-Sumner, who had a six month stint as leader of the council, beginning in November 2018, after former leader Charlotte Haitham-Taylor was ousted from her position.

However, Mr McGhee-Sumner was unhorsed in the 2019 elections by Liberal Democrat candidate Maria Gee, who defeated him by just 32 votes (Cllr Gee received 755 votes to McGhee-Sumner’s 723).

Cllr John Halsall was duly appointed the Borough Council Leader in 2019, and his defending his own seat in Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe.

Back in Wescott, it is fair to assume that Liberal Democrats are eager to replicate their success in 2019, and are hoping to get candidate Pete Dennis into the borough chamber. Meanwhile, Labour are fielding retiree Colin Heath in the ward.

Bulmershe & Whitegates

Bracknell News: Andy Croy, Labour candidate for Bulmershe & Whitegates ward.Andy Croy, Labour candidate for Bulmershe & Whitegates ward.

Serving councillor and Wokingham Labour leader Andy Croy is running to keep his seat in the  Bulmershe & Whitegates, which covers sections of Woodley and Earley.

Mr Croy was last elected in 2016, beating his Conservative challenger Chris Ashford by 206 votes. Mr Croy obtained 1111 votes in total.

He faces Sheila Jordan, the Liberal Democrat candidate, and Conservative challenger Shahid Younis, a former councillor who is hoping to regain his seat. Mr Younis served as a councillor for eight years, first being elected in 2011. However, he was unseated in 2019 by Labour candidate Shirley Boyt, beating Mr Younis with 131 votes, winning with  1227 votes in all.

Also running in Bulmershe & Whitegates are Green Party candidate Samuel Langlois, and Fiona Morley of the Freedom Alliance, a libertarian party which opposes lockdowns and curfews.

All three of the Bulmershe & Whitegates seats on the council are currently held by Labour, so Mr Croy will be hoping to keep the ward a Labour stronghold.

Maiden Erlegh  

Conservative candidate Norman Jorgensen

Conservative candidate Norman Jorgensen

Norman Jorgensen is seeking to regain his place on the council after losing his seat in the Hillside ward in 2019.

Mr Jorgensen had served as a councillor for Hillside from 2007 to 2019, but lost to Liberal Democrat challenger Caroline Smith by 379 votes, who triumphed with 1,425 votes.

He is standing as the Conservative candidate for  Maiden Erlegh ward this year. He is expected to face tough opposition from Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Smith and Labour’s Andrew Gray.

Mr Jorgensen is hoping to join his wife Pauline back onto the council. Meanwhile, Mrs Jorgensen is running to keep her own seat in the Hillside ward. She has served as a councillor since 2008. In 2016, she won with a majority of 521 votes beating closest challenger Liberal Democrat Steven Scarrott (Mr Jorgensen received 1224 votes). This year, she faces Liberal Democrat candidate Wes Budd, Labour’s Hari Sarasan and Green Party candidate Russell Seymour.


Bracknell News: Nick Fox, Labour candidate for Norreys ward.Nick Fox, Labour candidate for Norreys ward.

The Labour Party will likely be pushing hard to gain the Norreys seat from Conservatives.

Conservative Cllr Malcolm Richards, who has served as a councillor since 2012, is standing down, and the Tories are hoping to replace him with Phil Cunnington.

Mr Cunnington stood as the UKIP candidate in the General Election in 2015, where he received 5,516 votes – by comparison serving MP Sir John Redwood received 32,329 that year.

Labour came within a whisker of taking the Norreys seat in 2019. Their candidate Nick Fox was eventually beaten out by Cllr Gregor Murray, who won with a majority of 35 votes, received 1,116 votes in total.

Mr Fox is running again this year with high hopes of securing the seat. Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat candidate Jane Ainslie, who has already made headlines for describing councillor role as ‘stepping stone’ is also hoping to gain a seat on the council.

Here is the full list of the Conservative candidates standing in the borough elections this year.

You can see all the Liberal Democrats standing in the Wokingham elections here.

For all of the Labour candidates standing in the borough elections 2021 click here.