The revival of Labour fortunes under Jeremy Corbyn across the country is seeing council seats falling in the unlikeliest of places including right here in Somerset and the latest target is Glastonbury Town Council where a by-election is being held on February 11th and Labours candidate Jane Ratcliffe is on target to take it for Labour.
The by-election was called following the resignation of a Tory councillor and the tightly balanced council is crying out for Labour representation with 7 Greens, 4 Tories 3 Lib Dems and 1 Independent.
Clare Smith, Chair of the Glastonbury and Street Labour Party said “‘Glastonbury and Street branch was in hibernation but a large influx of new members due to Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign has led to the re-establishment of the branch. We are now standing a candidate for the town council by-election in Glastonbury and hope to run another in Street soon. Labour has not run a candidate for the town councils here for many years. It is an exciting time. Good numbers have turned out to canvass and deliver leaflets, branch meetings are up and running on a monthly basis, officers appointed and campaigns being planned. It is great to be a fully functioning branch again within the Wells Constituency and the wider Somerset Labour family.”
Hotly contested 4-way fight
The election is being hotly contested by four candidates-Lib Dem, Conservative, Green and Labour. The Conservatives are current front runners as they previously held the seat and their candidate is the current County Councillor Terry Napper from Street, whilst the Greens with a strong presence on Glastonbury Town Council already even brought in their National Leader, Natalie Bennett, to campaign with them last week.
Until recently, the Lib Dems, would have expected to do very well in the area but are currently in disarray across the county and with the swing of voters to the resurgent Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn, disenchanted Lib Dems and inspired Greens are now moving to Labour in important numbers .
St Mary’s ward returned 2 Tory 1 Green and 1 Lib Dem at last years election which is typical for the mixed up politics of Glastonbury where all 4 Town wards have multiple and eclectic representation. St Benedicts ward has 3 Green and 1 Tory, St Edmunds has 2 Green a Lib Dem and an Independent and St Johns has 2 Tory, 1 Green and 1 Lib Dem
Anti-Tory vote swinging to Labour
Clare says “ The entrenchment of the Greens in Glastonbury has been built up over many years, maybe partly because of a lack of an alternative candidates from the left, but we have already received feedback from local Labour voters across many wards that they have been disappointed in the past not to have a candidate from Labour on the ballot and are now pleased to see us standing. We see this as a great opportunity to launch Labour in the local area in preparation for next years county wide council elections and indeed the 2020 general election. ”
Labour candidate for the Glastonbury St Mary’s ward is local candidate Jane Ratcliffe who has been inspired by the change of leadership and focus in Labour and is passionate about equality and social justice.
Labour steps up organisation in Glastonbury and Street
To contact the Glastonbury and Street Labour Party try the following
facebook public page. https://www.facebook.com/glastonburystreetlabour/
2016 meeting dates for the Glastonbury And Street Branch -All at the Quaker Meeting Rooms in Street. All at 7pm to 9pm.Car parking on site.Tuesday 2nd February,Tuesday 16th February, Wednesday 9th March,Tuesday 5th April,Tuesday 3rd May, Tuesday 7th June