BNP planning to make comeback
BNP activist Michael Coleman is among nine candidates vying to win a city council seat vacated by the shock resignation of the authority's former finance chief.
The party's leader in the city, who will stand trial later this year after denying a charge of racially-aggravated harassment, lost his seat along with four other BNP councillors in last year's elections.
He faces eight other candidates on July 26 in a bid to represent Springfields and Trent Vale on Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
Former Labour councillor Sarah Hill quit the authority after being stripped of her role cabinet role in the wake of a failed leadership challenge to Mohammed Pervez.
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Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, City Independents, UKIP, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (TUSC), the Democratic Nationalists, and independent candidate Gary Elsby are all fighting for the seat.
Mother-of-three Mubsira Aumir, of Bucknall, who is a governor at both Kingsland Primary School and Kingsland Nursery School, is standing for Labour.
She said: "I am delighted to have been selected as the Labour candidate.
"I will stand up for the community in Springfields and Trent Vale and be a strong local voice in the council chamber.
"If elected I am looking forward to working with the Labour council in Stoke-on-Trent to create jobs and opportunities for young people, despite the Conservative-led government's cuts."
Jackie Barnes, of Trent Vale, is representing the City Independents at the election.
The mum-of-two is known in the area for the extravagant Christmas light display she puts up outside her Greyswood Road home each year.
The 56-year-old, a former residents' association chairman, said: "I care about the community and I care about people.
"I feel like I could be an asset to the city council.
"I'm standing for the City Independents because I feel it would be no good to me if I was with one of the bigger parties and I was told how to vote and what to say.
"Labour swept the board during the elections last year and I feel in any arena it can never be balanced or fair if one party has a majority to that extent."
TUSC candidate and student nurse Matt Wright, of Dresden, is pledging to fight council cuts and oppose increases in tax and service charges if he is elected.
He said: "Labour councillors are passing on £24 million in cuts on top of last year's £35.6 million without much more than a whimper.
"If elected I'd be a voice in the council chamber for all those who have been affected by these cuts and I want to fight back."
Labour holds 33 of 43 seats in the city council chamber, giving the party a comfortable majority on committee membership and an unassailable advantage in full council votes.
It means the outcome of the ballot to fill the 44th seat will do little to affect the overall political balance of the council.
But a Labour defeat would be seized on by opposition members as evidence of a public backlash to the council's £24 million budget cuts, approved in February.
Seven City Independents make up the official opposition.
They are joined on the sidelines by two Conservative councillors and unaffiliated member Paul Breeze.
Mrs Hill won the election in 2011 with 537 votes, 40 per cent of the ballots cast, with the Liberal Democrats in second place on 321 votes.