The Liberal Democrats – once a powerful force on Craven Council – are not fielding a single candidate in the district council elections later this month.

The party is not even defending the seat it holds in the Aire Valley where current representative Mark Wheeler is standing down after 12 years. And, with the recent death of Liberal Democrat Polly English, the party will be left with just two councillors – Polly’s widower, Paul, and Eric Jaquin – after the elections.

Meanwhile, Labour is hoping its fortunes will change. Having had no representation on the council for several years, it is contesting all nine seats, with the hope of getting a foothold.

The Conservatives – who have an overall majority at present – have candidates in eight of the wards, but will not fight the Sutton seat, which is being defended by Stephen Place, who, although an Independent, is aligned to the Tories.

The election line-up is completed by a further two Independents, including long-serving Glusburn councillor Philip Barrett, and UKIP hopeful Roger Baxandall.

Whatever the results, the Conservatives will remain the largest party, but will have to win at least six seats to retain overall control.

The current make-up of the council is 17 Conservatives, nine Independents, three Liberal Democrats and one vacancy.

Craven Council candidates are: Aire Valley with Lothersdale: Alan Hickman, Keighley Road, Skipton (Lab); Patrick Mulligan, Clogger Lane, Elslack (Cons).

Bentham: James Black, Sandy Lane, Embsay (Lab); * Linda Brockbank, The Ridding, Bentham (Cons).

Gargrave and Malhamdale: John Edward Pope, Hirds Yard, Skipton (Lab); *Alan Sutcliffe, Moorber House, Coniston Cold (Cons).

Glusburn: Philip Barrett, Beanlands Drive, Glusburn (Ind); Roger Baxandall, North View, Cross Hills (UKIP), Tanya Graham, Town Head, Grassington (Cons); Hazel Keirle, Black Abbey Lane, Glusburn (Lab).

Hellifield and Long Preston: *Chris Moorby, The Green, Long Preston (Cons); Brian Parsons, North Road, Sutton-in-Craven (Lab).

Ingleton and Clapham: *Carl Lis, Featherbeck Close, Ingleton (Cons); Anthony Macaulay, Burnmoor Crescent, Ingleton (Ind); Chris Rose, Hurrs Road, Skipton (Lab).

Penyghent: Katherine Lloyd, Netherghyll Lane, Cononley (Lab); *Richard Welch, Raines Road, Giggleswick (Cons).

Settle and Ribblebanks: Peter Madeley, Alexandra Court, Skipton (Lab); David Staveley, Old School Close, Settle (Cons).

Sutton-in-Craven: *Stephen Place, Main Street, Sutton-In-Craven (Ind); Vivien Thompson, Ravenstone Gardens, Sutton-in-Craven (Lab).