Save Kings Pond founder Andrew Kuttner is urging supporters to back pro-pond candidates in the East Hampshire District Council elections on Thursday.

Although responsibility for the pond lies in the hands of Alton Town Council he believes a vote for pond lovers will reinforce his message that it should retain its link with the River Wey.

Mr Kuttner said: “What exactly has Kings Pond to do with East Hampshire District Council? Absolutely nothing, readers will rightly think. However, as a unique opportunity for Alton’s voters to express their views, it has everything to do with the district elections.”

He added that with Alton’s Conservative candidates saying they want to keep pond and river together, Altonians have a “de facto referendum” between them and the Liberal Democrats, who want to split them – which he said risked the pond becoming a “muddy swamp”.

Mr Kuttner said: “This is the opportunity to send an unambiguous message to the new Alton Town Council: Save Kings Pond!”

Cllr Steve Hunt, leader of the district council’s Liberal Democrats, said: “The East Hampshire District Council election on May 4 has nothing to do with the Kings Pond. It is a referendum on the Conservative-run district council and the Conservative government.

“There is nothing any East Hampshire district councillor can do to decide the future of Kings Pond. It is entirely a matter for the new Alton Town Council who will act on the information provided by independent groups.

“Having spoken to many hundreds of people in the past few weeks, the overwhelming majority of residents realise that the election is not about Kings Pond. They know it’s about the service they have received from East Hampshire District Council, about building truly affordable homes, and taking more climate change action.”