A CANDIDATE from the British National Party is standing for election to Colchester Council for the first time.

With nominations closing on Friday, BNP hopeful Patrick Sullivan's name will be on the ballot paper for voters in High Woods.

A total of 82 candidates are standing for the 20 seats on the council up for grabs on May 1, with a Conservative, Green, Labour and Lib Dem candidate standing in every ward.

Each party will have identified key contests, setting out seats that need a firm defence and targets to win places on the council.

For the Conservative ruling group, retaining their overall majority is the main aim.

Craig Sutton's seat in Berechurch will be key to that, with Mr Sutton and his father Terry's defection from the Lib Dems last summer handing the Tories control of the authority.

Labour's Kim Naish is expected to put up a strong challenge to Mr Sutton in Berechurch, with the party also looking to hold East Donyland after Andy Raison decided not to stand for re-election.

The Lib Dems are understood to have set their sights on ousting Roger Buston, the portfolio holder for street services, in Shrub End and are also targeting Prettygate, St Andrew's and West Mersea.

For the Greens, Peter Lynn continues his siege on Castle ward, a seat he failed to gain by 200 votes last year.

Under the council's election system, one-third of the total of 60 seats is contested each year, with councillors elected for three-year terms.

The current make-up of the authority is 32 Conservative, 19 Liberal Democrats, six Labour, and three High Woods Independents.

Berechurch Philippa Lane (Green) Kim Naish (Lab) John Stevens (Lib Dem) Craig Sutton (Con)* Castle John Cooke (Lab) Darius Laws (Con) Peter Lynn (Green) Henry Spyvee (Lib Dem)* Dedham & Langham Carolyn Catney (Lib Dem) Christopher Garnett (Con)* Andrew Maxwell (Lab) Sandra Moog (Green) East Donyland Peter Hare (Con) Tracy Lee-Newman (Gn) Michael Lilley (Lab) Barry Woodward (Lib Dem) Harbour Stephen Ford (Green) Barry Gilheany (Lab) Justin Knight (Lib Dem) * Barry Mcconnell (Con) Highwoods Anne Allan (Con) John Baker (Lib Dem) Jordan Newell (Lab) Beverley Oxford (Ind)* Robbie Spence (Green) Patrick Sullivan (BNP) Lexden Adam Fox (Lab) Mike Hardy (Con) John Loxley (Lib Dem) Clare Palmer (Green) Marks Tey Roger Bamforth (Green) Elizabeth Blundell (Con) Jo Hayes (Lib Dem) John Wood (Lab) Mile End Mary Bryan (Green) Martin Goss (Lib Dem) Brian Jarvis (Con)* Rossanna Trudgian (Lab) New Town Glenn Bath (Con) Luke Dopson (Lab) Peter Higgins (Lib Dem)* Linda Wonnacott (Green) Prettygate Peter Appleton (Green) Michael Dale (Lab) Beverly Davies (Con) Paul Ost (Lib Dem) St. Andrew's Tina Dopson (Lab)* Andrew Senter (Green) Mark Warner (Lib Dem) Alex Wilson (Con) St. Anne's Mervyn Carter (Green) Helen Chuah (Lib Dem)* Fisher Robert (Lab) Levy Steve (Con) St. John's Tobie Glenny (Green) Glenn Granger (Con) Scott Harris (Lab) Paul Smith (Lib Dem)* Shrub End Roger Buston (Con)* Nigel Offen (Lib Dem) Walter Schwarz (Green) Bruce Tuxford (Lab) Stanway Andrew Ellis (Con)* Pam Nelson (Green) Carole Spademan (Lab) Laura Sykes (Lib Dem) Tiptree Karine Bamforth (Green) Jon Longman (Lib Dem) Dick Martin (Con)* Audrey Spencer (Lab) West Mersea John Bouckley (Con)* Beverley Maltby (Green) Barbara Nichols (Lab) Jenny Stevens (Lib Dem) Wivenhoe Cross Maria Iacovou (Green) Eugene Kraft (Con)* Jon Manning (Lib Dem) Janet Smith (Lab) Wivenhoe Quay Chris Fox (Green) Ann Quarrie (Con)* Jo Richardson (Lab) Claire Rodgers (Lib Dem) An asterisk denotes a sitting councillor