On May 2nd 2019 there will be local elections across the country at Town and District Council level. This includes all 5 Somerset Districts , plus all the Towns and Parishes. Labour’s strongest local government representation in Somerset is in Sedgemoor where the Party is the main opposition with 10 Councillors and on Bridgwater Town Council which is Labour controlled by 14 seats to 2.
Bridgwater Town Council Labour Leader, Brian Smedley, was today elected as the Secretary of the newly established Local Campaign Forum which will select Labour candidates for the Sedgemoor wards, develop a Manifesto and co-ordinate the entire campaign in conjunction with the Branches of Bridgwater and North West Somerset. He put out a call for Labour candidates to now come forward.
Candidates Now Needed
Brian says “We have opened a Panel of Potential Candidates and are calling on all Labour Party members who live in the Sedgemoor area to consider putting their names on it. There is an application form which members can get from me and which they need to return by 10am on Saturday 13th October. “
On Saturday 8th September the local Labour Party is organising an ‘Information day’ where potential candidates can attend to find out what the job and selection process entails. They can meet existing Councillors, and other party members who may be considering the same decision. A Q&A page is available which explains much of this here.
This will be held at 10am -12noon at the Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater.
Brian adds “To be a candidate you need to be over 18, live in the District and ideally live in the ward you wish to represent. However, there is a selection process which you need to go through. First you fill in the application form. If accepted you are added to the Panel of Potential Candidates. On 27th October we will call a ‘special meeting’ of all the party members who live in the wards and they can choose – ward by ward – which members of the Panel they would like to consider for their council candidates. You will then be interviewed alongside other candidates – and then the ward members will make their choice. Once selected you then of course have to take part in the election campaign and work with the other candidates selected to win the seat. At that point you become a Councillor!”
You can obtain an application form from the secretary by emailing email@example.com or telephoning 07772402671. They will also be available at the Information Day on September 8th.
Brian concludes “You are also welcome to attend Council meetings as a member of the public. This is often a good way of seeing how things work and if the jobs for you! On Labour controlled Bridgwater Town Council we have introduced an extended form of open democracy through a network of ‘Forums’ such as Transport, Culture, Twinning, Town Development and Tourism. You are also welcome to sign up for one of these which is another great way of understanding the issues involved. Contact me for more information.”
Selections for Town and Parish councils will commence once the District ward candidates have been selected on October 27th. These campaigns will be organised at Branch Level.
The Local Campaign Forum Executive
Chair Glen Burrows
Vice Chair Julia Timothy
Secretary Brian Smedley
Treasurer Amit Shah
Press and Publicity Kate Pearce
Campaign Co-ordinators Gary Tucker and John Fones