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The BBC's Christine Stewart
"They celebrated three gains and a council"
 real 28k

banner Wednesday, 3 May, 2000, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Reporting from Eastbourne

Christine Stewart reports on how control of Eastbourne is on a political knife-edge.

Until the recent resignation of Liberal Democrat Councillor Bob Kerr his party and the Conservatives had exactly 15 seats each on Eastbourne Borough Council and therefore no party has overall control.

The Conservatives are seeking to change that by making gains to put them in charge of this authority as the last time it was under their control was in 1988.


Council control
1999: NOC
1996: Lib Dem
1990: NOC
1988: Con
Since then it's been in Liberal Democrat hands or hung.

With an electorate of 68,000, Eastbourne is a popular place for people to retire to with almost a third of ots population being of pensionable age. The main industry remains tourism.

The Liberal Democrats are fighting this ballot on the strength of their record.

They claim that they have brought improvements in the town including the transport systems and the sea front.

But the Conservatives are targetting two wards that they believe they can win - one of which they lost by only 13 votes last time around.

The Liberal democrats and Conservatives are fielding candidates in all 10 wards.

Labour is contesting seven, the Green party and the Liberal Party one each.

The turnout at the 1996 election was 37%.

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