With at least four Labour councillors representing Penarth wards already hinting that they may quit and stand-down at the May 2017 local government elections, other parties are busy selecting their candidates for the coming contest.
At stake in Penarth will be 8 (salaried) seats on the Vale of Glamorgan Council and 16 seats on Penarth Town Council – with all those elected being expected to serve a 5-year stint through until 2022. [ PDN Note: In 2012 councillors were elected for the customary period of 4 years but the Welsh Labour Government arbitrarily extended their current term to 5 years without any public consultation. ]
Nominations for prospective Green Party candidates closed yesterday for the party’s two target wards – St Augustines on the Vale of Glamorgan Council (2 seats) and the Plasnewydd Ward on Cardiff Council where 4 seats are available.
Veteran Penarth campaigner Anthony Slaughter has been nominated to contest the target St Augustine’s Vale seat for the Green Party whilst colleagues Andy Regan and Keith Watts have been nominated to fight the target Cardiff Council Ward of Plasnewydd.
Nominations for these two target wards are now being re-opened in the hope of encouraging more female candidates to put their hats in the ring in the interests of better “gender balance” .
The party says potential candidates “of any gender” are welcome to put their names forward and candidates don’t necesarily need to be nominated by a third party – they can “self-nominate”.
The Green Party appears to be ruling out the selection of so-called “paper candidates” – a cynical system used by other parties to fill their candidate list by getting people to agree to stand for council elections without any expectation of them campaigning or even turning up regularly at council meetings.
The “paper candidate” system operates on the basis that electors just vote for the brand-name of the party – and that the identity of the candidate, and his or her qualities, are immaterial. The Greens say candidates standing for election in St Augustines and Plasnewydd must be:-
- Willing to serve as a councillor if elected (“paper” candidates often aren’t really interested in doing so). [One Labour councillor on Penarth Town Council – Amber Courtney (Labour Cornerswell) – came within an ace of losing her seat under the statutory rules which require every councillor to attend at least one council meeting every six months – see PDN http://tinyurl.com/z2ddm6y ]
- Undertake to start campaigning from the time of their selection
The Green Party says – uncompromisingly – that it expects candidates fighting target seats (like St Augustines) to carry out “a minimum 2 hours per week in canvassing/community engagement in the pre-election period” increasing to 6 – 10 hours per week in the election period”.