Must be an election on the horizon or something.Â Â I have started to get a flurry of messages, calls and emails asking for contact details from the party and from people wanting to make sure they can arrange hustings at short notice.Â Also a request for volunteers for a live phone-in politics show that wanted candidates from each party.
Some other PPC either volunteered before me or volunteered more enthusiastically than I did.Â Â Not sure I really fancied the prospect of being on the radio between 2:30 and 3:30 in the morning and then getting up at 6:30 for work.Â Even an insomniac has to sleep sometimes!
An even more sure sign of an impending election was tonight’s meeting of the my local branch to select candidates for May’s council elections.Â It was a good session and we selected strong candidates for both Broadfield North and Broadfield South.Â Not only that but they both live in the wards where they will be standing.
Personally I think you can be a perfectly good candidate or councillor even if you do not live in the ward you represent.Â Certainly living elsewhere does not make you a bad councillor, especially in a very compact borough like Crawley – within reason: the Horsham district councillor who lives in Hastings is probably less effective than he could be.
Having said that, some of the electorate seem to prefer a local candidate, and the Tories made a bit of an issue of it in the Northgate election calling their bloke “the only local candidate” when none of the candidates lived in Northgate.Â I suspect they will not be making an issue of it in May, as two of their three councillors for Broadfield do not live in Broadfield.
Good luck to Ian Irvine in the North and Colin Moffatt in the South in May!Â Its great to see Colin now able to stand in a winnable seat.Â In the past he has been happy to be a paper candidate, but now he does not do shift work he has the time to be a councillor and hopefully see some return for the many, many hours he has spent pounding the streets of Broadfield on behalf of other candidates in the past including me, Jayne, Ian and of course Laura and I hope the campaign in Horsham leaves me time to help out back here.