Ricky HolcombeThe By-Election for the Sedgemoor District Council ward of Highbridge & Burnham Marine  caused by the resignation of   SDC Lib Dem leader cllr Joe Leach has been called for Thursday 24th January 2013.

The Burnham & Highbridge Labour Party have selected former Coal Miner Ricky Holcombe as their candidate. Ricky, who lives   in Burnham on Sea,  has been a trade unionist and a member of the Labour Party for over 30 years .

‘Tory cuts to services’

Announcing his candidacy today Ricky said ” I left school at 16 and started work as a coal miner and took part in the 1984/85 miners’ strike. I witnessed first hand what a Conservative government did to communities of decent, hard-working people. Amazingly we have gone back in time 25 years in 18 months to be faced with cuts to services, privatisation and commissioning of the NHS,  attacks on pensions, the transformation and masked privatisation of the education system, the highest unemployment ever including over a million under 25 and  the biggest onslaught on welfare and employment rights that this country has seen.”

‘Enough is enough’

Ricky passionately believes that communities such as Highbridge have been let down by the Lib Dems and badly need Labour representation    “If you vote Conservative, at least you know what you’re going to get. The Liberal Democrats have betrayed the voters of Highbridge by supporting a government which looks after the rich.  As a committed Labour Party member I say “enough is enough”. The betrayal of the country by the Liberal Democrats, hiding behind the coat-tails of the Conservatives must be stopped if we are to salvage anything that this country takes pride in.”

Secretary of the Sedgemoor District Labour Group, Cllr Brian Smedley, welcomed the By-Election saying “The  Lib Dems have been wiped out in  Bridgwater and now with the resignation of their leader they have one solitary councillor left on Sedgemoor. Their erratic attendance at meetings already is letting down their voters badly and clearly Highbridge would benefit from electing a Labour councillor as we are the only serious opposition group confronting Tory led Sedgemoor Council. “

‘Vote Lib Dem Get Tory’

Highbridge is Sedgemoor’s most marginal ward and has swung backwards and forwards between all the parties and independents in the past thirty years. Cllr Smedley says “Twice in the past ten  years Lib Dem councillors elected in Highbridge have switched to join the Tories most recently their former leader Danny Titcombe who jumped ship while Lib Dem leader and at the 2011 election Highbridge was a battleground for Liberals fighting each other as officials and independents. Locally and Nationally it’s clear that if you vote LibDem you get Tory.”

Labour has been riding high in recent by-elections as the coalition’s ‘austerity’ policies cause harm to local communities with no noticeable benefit. The Lib Dems on the other hand have been in meltdown. At the Rotherham By-Election they came 8th whilst at the Oldham Council by election of Fairfield they came bottom of the poll with a derisory 26 votes.

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