Tag Archives: local elections 2021

8 Lib Dem GAINS in Oxfordshire – including Tory Council Leader’s seat

Lib Dems in Oxfordshire have taken 8 seats from the Conservatives and are now just one seat behind them.

One of the seats was that of the County Council Leader in Woodstock.

To add to Tory miseries, they also lost a seat in affluent Chipping Norton to Labour.

And there could be more..

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Lib Dems gain control of St Albans with 5 gains

Good news from Hertfordshire. We have taken control of St Albans District Council.

Chris White has been leading a minority administration since 2019 but we have now made 5 gains to take total control.

Chris was re-elected with 62% of the vote in  Clarence ward.

Here are some of the delighted victors:

Posted in Op-eds | 1 Comment

Election results: Current state of play

While there have been some bright spots, it’s not been the greatest set of local election results for us. It’s not been the worst, either. Maybe it was the best we could have hoped for given the circumstances.

The year ahead of any set of elections is crucial. You want to be building your campaign from at least a year out. Being locked down for most of that year under a stay at home order in the middle of a pandemic is not conducive to doing that.

A set of elections held as the country opens up again and people are getting their vaccinations and many are having their wages paid by the government is going to benefit the people who are organising the vaccine rollout and paying those wages.

I thought it might be useful to look at the current state of play.

London

We now have two assembly members. Hina Bokhari, one of the first three Muslim women to be elected to the London Assembly, joins Caroline Pidgeon, who has been an Assembly member since 2008.

Our brilliant mayoral candidate, Luisa Porritt, came fourth behind the Greens Sian Berry.

Wales

After a nail-biting few hours after we lost our sole constituency seat, Jane Dodds was elected to the Senedd on the Mid and West Wales list. It would have been an absolute disaster if we had no parliamentary representation in either Senedd or Westminster.

England

We went into this defending 580 Council seats. There are still some important councils like St Albans and Oxfordshire to count today, so our current total of 524, a net loss of 8, is set to rise. It looks overall as if we will gain slightly, but nothing like the heady days of 2019 when we gained 700 seats.

There are many bright spots within this. In Guildford, for example, we doubled our County Council representation in the parliamentary constituency once held by Sue Doughty.

I was particularly excited to see us gain two County Council seats in my old campaigning ground of Chesterfield. It reminds me of the 90s when we kicked the Tories out of the town completely and eventually took control of the Borough Council.  Ed Fordham will be familiar to LDV readers and I’m thrilled to say that he overturned a 600 Labour majority to win his county seat.

In a climate of Tory gains across the rest of Derbyshire, we gained the seat lost to the Conservatives in 2017 so Chesterfield is once again a Tory free zone.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Local elections and the “Festival of Local Democracy”

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Well…I might be a bit weird, however I am really excited about tomorrow! Why? It is an election day, which gives us ALL another wonderful opportunity to shape our local communities by electing District and County Councillors. There are also significant elections in Scotland, to the Scottish Parliament and in Wales, to the Welsh Assembly. Tomorrow will be a busy day for voters and quite a nerve-wracking day for all the candidates!

We often don’t realise but it is very true that even the smallest elections to the parish council affect the way we live our lives.

I often wonder what makes us vote, particularly in the local elections? is it because we want to see a real change in our neighbourhoods? Is it because we want to positively influence the so called “status quo”? Or is it simply because we simply like a particular candidate?

Is our voting based on our political alliances? Would we vote for any candidates of the main political parties in the local elections only because we support their national policies?

Do we vote tactically?

Or do we vote because we passionately believe in democracy and we want to be part of the civic process?

Posted in Op-eds | 24 Comments

Linking the Test and Trace scandal to local election campaigning

Conservatives despise local government.  English local authorities have been starved of funds since the coalition government began, with a sharper downward curve since 2015. The one-size fits-all model of elected mayors has been imposed on successive ‘city regions’ – in the case of Yorkshire, against the settled preference of almost all the local authorities in the region.  Worst of all, ministers bypassed local authorities when the pandemic struck, ignoring local public health officers and the local knowledge that councillors and staff embody, and spending huge amounts of money on contracts with outsourcing companies. When Russian spies poisoned the Skripals Salisbury’s public health officer efficiently led the complex response.  But ministers ignored that lesson when COVID-19 struck.

The Test and Trace scandal is potentially one of the worst that Britain has suffered since the war.  £37bn has been committed over two years, with £23bn spent so far.  Let’s put that into context.  The total estimated cost of renewing the UK’s nuclear deterrent is £30bn..  The Department of Transport’s annual budget for England in 2020-21 is £16.6bn.    £23bn is almost 10% of the annual central government transfer to local authorities, spent on a project that local authorities could have provided for a fraction of the cost.  We do not yet know how much excess profit the contractors made, but we do know that the scheme has so far been less effective than in comparable countries – and that it would have been more effective, as well as far less expensive, if it had been run by local government.

Remember all those volunteers who came forward – and who were often ignored?  And those small companies that offered to provide PPE for local hospitals, whose proposals were forwarded to central government and then left unanswered?  It’s a mark of how far the careerists who run today’s Conservative Party are from politics on the ground that it did not occur to them to use the resources of local government and communities rather than exorbitant consultants and multinational companies.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Local elections to go ahead in May in England

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The Government has confirmed today that local Council and PCC elections will go ahead as planned on 6th May in England, in spite of some lobbying to postpone them.

The option of an all-postal ballot has been ruled out, and Councils are being given an extra £31million to install plastic screens and hand sanitiser. Voters will have to bring their own pens and wear masks.

People who are shielding will be encouraged to vote by post. We have already learnt that the rules on proxy voting will be relaxed allowing anyone who has to self-isolate the opportunity to ask for a proxy vote right up until 5pm on polling day.

Schools will not be used as polling stations this time.

Posted in News | 25 Comments
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