CONSERVATIVE and Liberal Democrat candidates are to go head-to-head in the local elections - with candidates for both parties standing in each district ward.

The campaign trail has begun in the run-up to the May 5 local elections, when 17 seats for South Lakeland District Council will be contested and 211 parish council seats are up for grabs.

Cumbria County Council is not holding its elections but a referendum will be held on the same day asking voters which voting system they want for the Parliamentary elections.

Green Party candidates are standing in Mid-Furness and Low Furness, with Labour candidates going against the two main politican parties in eight wards.

Approximately one-third of all district councillors retire each year in order for a local election to take place.

There will be a by-election in Levens following the death of Brenda Woof — where candidates from Labour, Lib Dems and Conservatives will stand. And a by-election is to be held at Ambleside and Grasmere after Vivienne Rees stepped down.

Tim Farron has been championing the cause for AV.

“This is the chance to make a significant step forward in our democracy,” said Mr Farron.

“In 50 years time, Cameron, Clegg and I will be gone and the next generation of voters will look back at this decision and ask: 'Did we bottle this once in a lifetime change or seize the opportunity?”

Click on the link below for more information on the upcoming elections including candidate lists.