We did pretty well in the May 2015 parliamentary and council elections. Jillian Creasy came second to the sitting Labour MP in Sheffield Central constituency in the 3rd best Green result in the country. In the council elections, Aodan Marken was elected as a new Green councillor in Broomhill ward, we did well in a number of other Sheffield wards (including 2nd places in Central, Nether Edge, Walkley and Gleadless Valley), and we raised our profile significantly in Rotherham.
May 2016 provides us with a great opportunity to do even better because there are ‘All-out’ elections in both Sheffield and Rotherham, with all councillors having to stand down and every council seat up for election. This arises from ward boundary changes in Sheffield, and the political upheaval in Rotherham where 4 yearly council elections will now be held following the child sex exploitation scandal.
All-out elections mean that each voter can vote for 3 candidates rather than just one, which is generally helpful to smaller parties. We’re hopeful that we can increase our number of Sheffield councillors significantly from the current 4; and we should be able to have a greater impact in Rotherham too. Below is a brief summary of our plans in each of the two places. We’ve already started the process to identify suitable candidates, including holding a briefing session in June for potential candidates – see separate article in this e-newsletter.
On 22nd July, SRGP members were sent an e-mail with full information about the opening of nominations for our candidates aiming to be councillors in our 6 target wards. Nominations close on 22nd August. We hope you will question the nominated candidates at the hustings on 12th September and in an online forum during the voting period – full details to be advised soon.
In parallel with that, we’ve strengthening our organisation in our 6 target wards plus our 2 development wards, so that our local campaigning can step up a gear during the autumn. This will need to be a bigger campaign than the general election as we seek to triple or quadruple our number of councillors, possibly becoming the official opposition if the campaign goes well.
If you’d like to get involved (eg as a potential candidate, as a local organiser, or to help in a particular way, maybe with admin work or delivering leaflets), contact Eamonn Ward (email@example.com) or Gill Black (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We stood candidates in about half a dozen wards in May 2015, and have started to consider which wards should be our focus for May 2016. We’re hoping to stand a lot more candidates, to offer a real alternative to Labour and UKIP. We’ll be considering the arrangements for selecting our candidates over the next few weeks. Once our thinking has developed, we’ll get in touch with the rest of our Rotherham members.
If you’d like to get involved (eg as a potential candidate, as a local organiser, or to help in a particular way), contact Ann Roche (email@example.com).