National and local politics are very different things. Most political debate we hear about (eg in the news, in the pub, etc) focuses on national and international (not local) issues – big things like the NHS, tax, jobs, defence, immigration, the EU, and more. Oh, and you might have heard of Brexit.
Great: these are massive issues we need to discuss and tackle together. On General Elections (the last one being in June 2017, the next probably due in 2022), we vote our MPs into Parliament in Westminster. The MPs then spend the next five years trying to make sense of all that stuff – and they need us to hold them to account, debate with them, question them, etc.*
BUT: local/council elections (like this year’s, on Thursday 2nd May 2019), and local politics are very different. We’re voting for our local councillors, not MPs. Councillors are essentially mini MPs (!): they don’t go to Westminster, but instead represent us within Leeds City Council; they cover a smaller area (a ‘ward’); and they’re supposed to work closely with the local communities on ‘grassroots’ issues. There are also technical differences between local and national elections – eg they’re more frequent. For more info on practically how local elections work, click here.
The party that a candidate represents is not irrelevant, and we’re proud to be standing with the Green Party – a small party bold enough to question the status quo, to stand up for social justice, and look for alternative solutions to the challenges we all face. Click here for more on the Green Party.
But crucially, in local elections, please make your vote based on local issues and the candidates’ track record in the community – not national or international issues.
We (Ed and the team) are very happy to discuss those big issues – but what we desperately need here in Hunslet and Riverside are hard-working local people listening to other residents, and working with them to tackle the local day-to-day issues in our communities. We got fed up of local councillors living faraway from the ward, and making no impact in the lives of our communities – so are offering an alternative.
We’re working hard in this area, with local people, on a wide range of issues – and have done for 16+ years. Click here to find out about the things we’re involved in, and here to check out the big ‘Community Manifesto’ that underpins all our year-round work.
For these and other reasons, many Labour members and voters, and from the other parties, are supporting us, even campaigning with us, and voting Green in the local elections. Please join them, join us, then let’s start to turn things round for our area. Many thanks.
* (Here in Hunslet and Riverside, we’re part of the ‘Leeds Central’ Parliamentary constituency. We’re currently represented by Labour MP Hilary Benn – although Ed also stood in the 2017 General Election, for the Greens, against him. Contact Hilary here to discuss those bigger issues.)
(Top image taken from the Green Streets hanging baskets scheme Ed co-organised in Beeston Hill.)