What to make a difference for your community?
Stand as a local candidate with the Lib Dems in 2019
In May 2019, Torbay will elect 36 people to the new Council. The current elected Mayor model was rejected in a referendum so the new Council will consist of 36 members who will elect a Council Leader and a Cabinet. In reality the Leader will come from the Party with the most seats and he or she will largely choose the Cabinet members. Both will have to be formally endorsed by the Council.
If the Liberal Democrats have the most seats or are the largest Party we will propose a move towards a Leader and Committee system at the earliest opportunity where every Councillor gets to have a say in the decisions of the Council.
The challenge facing Torbay is acute. For 24 of the past 30 years the Conservatives have had policy control of Torbay Council. Theirs’s have been years of failure to change the economic direction of the bay and the spending priorities that have worsened the finances of the Council, not helped by inadequate funding from central government.
This has limited the ability of the Council to meet community needs, but we can and will do better than this.
We can do better!
We want to run a team of local champions that can show residents in our towns and communities how Torbay can be different. A team that represents all sections of our communities, who work hard, listen and deliver results. Could you be part of that team?
Who can win?
An important question anyone considering standing for election needs to ask is can they win?
At the last local elections in May 2015 the following Councillors were elected.
Torquay: 12 Conservative, 4 Liberal Democrat, 0 Labour, 1 UKIP.
Paignton: 9 Conservative 3 Liberal Democrat, 0 Labour.
Brixham: 4 Conservative, 3 Independent, 0 Labour.
Since then there have been 3 local council by-elections - real votes in ballot boxes from Torbay residents.
Liberal Democrats 2,877 (56%)
Conservatives 1,123 (22%)
Ukip 473 (9%)*
Labour 518 (10%)
Green 126 (2.5%)
Ind Socialist 27 (0.5%)**
*Only stood in two of the three contests
**Only stood in one of the three contests
When residents want to defeat Conservative candidates in Torbay they back the Liberal Democrats to do it.
This is not to put off anyone from standing, just a reality check that only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives in Torbay and form a more caring, environmentally conscious resident driven administration.
Who can be a Lib Dem local candidate?
If you want to run for the Liberal Democrats in the 2019 local elections you must:
- Be a member of the Liberal Democrats at the time you apply for approval – if you're not currently a party member, you can join now and apply in time for the application process that begins on February 1st 2018.
- Be a British citizen, a citizen of a Commonwealth Country or an EU citizen
- Be registered to vote in the area or have lived, worked or owned property there for at least 12 months before the election date
You cannot stand for us if:
- You work for Torbay Council, or for another local authority in a political restricted post
- Are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
- Have been sentenced to prison for three months or more (including suspended sentences) during the 5 years before election day
- Have been convicted of a corrupt or illegal practice by an election court
What kind of candidates do we want?
We are looking for people:
- of all backgrounds, ages, beliefs, genders and experience who reflect our fantastic area
- who are motivated to fight and deliver change for their local area
- with community links and experience that they can draw on
- with an open and tolerant outlook who believe in communities working together, not turning inward
- who are team players that will support other candidates and aren't only in it for themselves
- In short people who want to do something, not be someone.
If you want to know more about what Liberal Democrats stand for, you can read about our values here.
- All selected candidates will be asked to put aside time to campaign from the date of their selection up to polling day
- Campaigning takes many forms from collecting petitions, knocking on doors, making phone calls, producing literature, delivering leaflets, writing letters, lobbying decision makers.
- The earlier you start and the more you do, the better your chances of winning
Resources and support
If you're interested in running as a candidate but would like support there are lots of resources available to help you decide whether to run and to help you with your application, selection, campaigning and in your role once elected.
- Read this guide on standing as a Liberal Democrat Councillor, prepared by the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and the Local Government Association.
- See the Be a Councillorwebsite for a wide range of general information on what's involved in being a councillor
- Watch a videowith Lib Dem Councillors and activists talking about why they got involved in local community politics
- The Liberal Democrats offer lots of training opportunities for council candidates and elected councillors at our two Party Conferences, regional away days and local events: local champions and party groups offer additional support and guidance for women and BME members.
- Once elected, Councillors are entitled to an allowance to cover their time preparing for and attending meetings and other duties of around £8,100 a year. If you are asked to take on additional responsibilities this is recognised in a special responsibility allowance and these are currently around £4,000 or £8,000 depending on the responsibility.
Your next steps
- If you're not a party member Join the Liberal Democrats today
If you need guidance on your application, please email the Chair of our Local Government Committee, Cllr Steve Darling: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him on 01803 328778