Leicestershire County Council elections 2021 – Burbage: All you need to know

By Thomas Carter

In political terms, the electoral division of Burbage in Leicestershire is the epitome of a ‘two-party contest’.

Based in the borough of Hinckley and Bosworth, the village is home to a small population of 14,568 residents (as of Census 2011 data), and currently the Burbage ward is represented on the Leicestershire County Council by Amanda Wright of the Conservative Party.

This has not, however, always been the case.

Throughout the 20th century, occupancy of the county council seat would alternate between the Liberal Democrats and current Conservative leadership, with a sustained period of Liberal dominance during the early 2000s.

The biggest change was observed during the election of 2017, where voters opted for the Conservatives, and the political scene has continued in this vein through to modern day. Although, council elections in Burbage are historically very close, with the most recent election being decided by just over 200 votes.

Taking into account past voting behaviour, it seems this year’s round of voting could unfold in a similar fashion.

In the upcoming election (taking place on Thursday, May 6), there are four candidates standing for a seat and looking to represent Burbage on the Leicestershire County Council.

First standing is Amanda Wright, the incumbent Leicestershire county councillor, who is seeking to win successive re-election for the Tories.

Throughout her time in local government, Cllr Wright has proven to be passionate about wanting more effective policing (on issues such as pension fraud), and finding better solutions to residents’ parking troubles in the area.

Another candidate, Barry Walker, is standing on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, and is a borough councillor for Sketchley and Stretton.

During his tenure, Cllr Walker has worked to improve the village’s environmental aspects and make the community a safer place to live, campaigning to reduce litter in public areas as well as implementing more speed cameras across Burbage. 

The remaining two candidates are Robert Martin (Labour) and Roger Hill (Social Democrat Party). 

Unfortunately, neither of the candidates have a discernible or active online presence (e.g. website, social media etc.) and therefore contact attempts regarding their campaigns have been unsuccessful.

While there are several issues that will play a factor in the upcoming election, the Burbage Neighbourhood Plan is undoubtedly at the forefront of political conversation. 

According to the Burbage Parish Council website, the plan aims to ‘protect, create and enhance open spaces and the historic elements of the village by encouraging sympathetic and sustainable designs in any future housing developments’. 

These proposals for ‘more sustainable living’ would ensure the plan’s requirements are met until 2026 (at the earliest), therefore in addition to voting for councillors, residents of Burbage will be involved in a referendum on whether this plan goes ahead.

Furthermore, other issues that look set to be on the agenda of the electorate include a toughening of policing with regard to recent increases of drug use/dealing in the area, along with the need to tackle growing litter problems.

With a history of close results and patterns of swing voting, the election on May 6 in Burbage could prove to be a difficult conclusion to draw for one of Leicestershire’s oldest communities.

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