LIBERAL Democrats will only need to win four seats in this Thursday's election for Dorchester town council to maintain control.

The candidates in two of the town wards have been given seats without fighting an election – after not enough candidates came forward to make residents in those areas need to go to the polls, although they will be voting for Dorset Council seats in both areas.

With all of the seven candidates in both the North ward and the South ward taking up their seats  - the Liberal Democrats only need to win four other positions to maintain its majority on the 20-seat council.

All but one of those being returned without a contest have previously served as town councillors, the newcomer being Vanessa Lloyd-Jones.

The majority of existing town councillors are standing again at the election this Thursday.

Among those not seeking re-election is the current Mayor Alistair Chisholm who, as an Independent, has been one of the few non Lib Dem councillors. Also stepping down are Barry Armstrong Marshall, Tim Harries and Susie Hosford.

The full list of candidates for the May 2 election

East Ward (5 seats) – Poppy Farmer Green; Katy Jones Independent; Stella Jones Lib Dem; Fiona Kent-Ledger Lib Dem; Mel Lane Lib Dem; Rory Major Lib Dem; Kate Reid Lib Dem; Barry Thompson Labour.

Poundbury (4) – Richard Biggs Lib Dem; William Gibbons Independent; Frances Hogwood Lib Dem; David Leaper Lib Dem; Mark Penfold Local Conservatives; Peter Stein Local Conservatives.

West (4) – Les Fry Independent; Jed Germodo Lib Dem; Janet Hewitt Lib Dem; Ralph Ricardo Lib Dem; Claudia Sorin Labour; Andrew Wyatt Labour.

Returned with no need for an election - 

Dorchester North - Sue Biles, Andy Canning, Vanessa Lloyd-Jones, David Taylor, all Liberal Democrat.

Dorchester South - Gareth Jones, Robin Potter, Molly Rennie, all Liberal Democrat.