Get your nomination papers now! They’re available from 14th March from Annie Howliston, the Borough Elections Officer – tel Firstcall on 535000 – and need to be returned by 4th April.
There’s no deposit or charge to stand in the local elections (though you may want to spend some money on a leaflet) – and you need just ten people from the ward to sign your nomination paper for the Borough – and two signatures to stand for the Town Council.
And – recent legislation means that 18-year olds can now stand as candidates.
Elections are conventionally the time when people vote out the politicians they are dissatisfied with, though it may be difficult to vote on party lines when there’s been an all-party coalition for the past two years. On the other hand, a lot of people have expressed the view that they could make a better job being a councillor than ‘the present lot’ (and sometimes they say ‘excluding you, Nic, of course!) – so this is your chance! Why don’t you consider standing for either Borough Council or the Town Council?
Workload and Pay
I’d estimate that Borough Council work takes 12-15 hours a week what with committees and case work, and rather more if you are on the Executive, a Committee Chair or represent the Council on an outside body.
For this, you get a councillor’s allowance which will be around £3,500 before tax this coming year, plus travel expenses.
The Town Council is rather less work – two committee meetings a month plus any ad hoc working groups you volunteer for – but there is no allowance or expenses paid at all.
You don’t have to declare for a political party to be on the Town Council – but on the Borough Council, you do not have the right to be on any committees unless you are a member of a political group.
Of course, I’d be very happy to hear from people who’d like to stand for the Green Party
– but I’d better mention the leaders of the other parties who would also probably like to hear from prospective candidates:
Conservatives – Peter Jackson,
Labour – Alan Sambrook,
LibDem – David Parker
– and if you want to stand as an Independent rather than for a political party – there’s the ‘Independent Group’ – led by John Beynon.
Good luck – and I hope to hear from you!
Election Imprint: Promoted by Nic Best 57, Olympia Gardens, Morpeth NE61 1JQ on behalf the MidNorthumberland Green Party