For a fledgling party we are delighted to be fielding 3 candidates in the local elections, small steps as they say.
We will be contesting three wards; Abbey (Alan Gamble), Camp Hill (Barry Goss) and Wembrook (Terry Freeman). It would have been great to have contested more seats but it is a case of focusing available resources, to build carefully and establish our credibility upon solid foundations.
Actually, to make the progress we have in 18 months, from an initial aspiration to stand as an Independent, seems pretty amazing. No doubt it is all a bit daunting to pop your head above the parapet to partake in the council elections, but to do so under a new local party banner does take a bit of bottle. Still, with growing support we might well finish up with a Council Leadership that the borough and its residents deserve.
We will be out in force as of Monday next week, with newsletters to post in Wembrook and Abbey, and a further distribution in Camp Hill, before the big day. Let us know should you wish to combine a bit of healthy exercise with leaflet delivery!
We are also arranging drop in meetings so that local residents can come and meet us, have open discussions and put their points of view forward on local issues. The sessions at Camp Hill are on Saturday 14th April and Saturday 28th April, from 12.00 – 3.00 pm at the CHESS Community Centre. Venues for Abbey and Wembrook will be advised once agreed.
Additionally, we have another Party meeting on Wednesday 11th April from 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm, at the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre. This is for anyone who wants to offer support or just wants to find out more about us.
Given the message being peddled by others, related to votes being wasted on fringe parties, it is worth just reaffirming our position. The council is currently led by the Labour leader and his 5 Labour cabinet members, responsible for driving through many key decisions at short notice. Decisions are politically biased, minority parties are trampled over and residents largely ignored.
We need to have a Council Leadership that is willing to operate on a democratic basis, working across party boundaries, to truly represent the residents of the borough. Can that be too difficult or should we expect to see two party national politics continuing to hold sway, with little consideration for local issues and residents needs? I have been reliably informed that the current Council set up is what democracy is all about, well I don’t buy it.
This will only change if the other parties in the elections can win a good majority of the 17 seats. The winning of seats for us could be absolutely critical in tipping the overall balance. So your vote will definitely not be wasted in that case.
Furthermore it is worth pointing out that the two major parties are both very much in the minority anyway. In the 2016 local elections the turnout was circa 33%, with only 30535 out of 94054 residents voting. Yes, that`s right 63519 residents did not use their vote, which includes around 3500 – 4000 non voters in each of Abbey, Camp Hill and Wembrook wards.
So, we just need the support of 1200 of these disenchanted non voters, in each ward, to see us elected to the council.
We do offer a real alternative to truly represent our residents and pursue democratic change, please give us your support by using your vote on May 3rd.
Customer Complaint – 2018/2019 Budget
We have received a second response to our complaint about the Budget 2018/ 2019 setting process. It appears that the word ‘consultation’ is open to wide interpretation and that the Cabinet do not actually make a decision, other than to submit the draft proposals to council for approval. So still a few things to contemplate, but certainly worthy of further escalation to the next level. No surrender!