A FORMER Conservative councillor who twice held the balance of power at Sheffield Town Hall has announced she is to stand again, four years after losing her seat.
Anne Smith held one of the three Dore and Totley seats for eight years, losing by 300 votes to current Lib Dem deputy leader Colin Ross when his party took power in 2008.
In 2002-3, when neither Labour of the Lib Dems had a majority, securing Mrs Smith’s vote was crucial for either side to win motions on policy, and a similar situation occurred in 2007-8.
Mrs Smith received an MBE for her services to local government in recognition.
She event left the party and her husband, property surveyor Peter Smith, stood for the English Democrats last year in protest over turmoil within Sheffield Conservatives.
But now Mrs Smith has rejoined and been selected to fight to win back her old seat in May, from Coun Ross, who is defending.
She said: “Democracy is precious and it seems wrong that the fourth largest city in England has no Conservative representation at council level even though almost 50,000 people in the city voted Conservative at the last General election.”
Since Mrs Smith lost her seat in 2008, Sheffield Conservatives have not come close to winning any council seats but she carried a strong personal vote and could present a stronger challenge to the Lib Dems.
Coun Ross could be vulnerable in Dore and Totley next May as some Lib Dem supporters have switched to Labour due to disillusionment with the Government.