…. but what makes a good, local Councillor?
The by election to fill the vacancy left by Cllr Crisp will take place in 4 weeks’ time. The middle of winter is rarely a good time to hold an election. Historically, turnouts have often dropped below 30%. Details of the election timetable can be found by clicking here
How motivated electors will be, given that the result won’t make any real difference to the balance of power on the York Council, remains to be seen. All out elections are due in May 2019 in any event.
But having a locally active representative can make a real difference to the quality of life in a local community. Retiring Councillor Crisp says, “I have been a part of a very productive and dedicated team of three Labour Councillors for Holgate Ward and am proud of the things we have been able to achieve for residents.”
Let’s look at the evidence?
How good have Holgate’s Councillors been with communications?
Effective local Councillors will use a wide range of channels to communication with residents. These range from more traditional formats such as noticeboards, through hand delivered newsletters to social media.
Sadly, the Holgate Councillors fail the noticeboard test. The one in Leeman Road clearly hasn’t been updated for months.
Can residents remember getting newsletters through their letterbox? Political propaganda perhaps, but not local news.
Similarly, on social media, you will look in vain for a dedicated twitter account, Facebook page or web page devoted to the Holgate Ward. Even the Labour Party’s web site offers only brief biographies, but it urges voters to read it’s “Holgate Blog” The last entry was made on 25th April 2015 – just 7 days before the last Council elections.
The Council’s own Holgate web page has no local news items
Only one – very modest – scheme has been put forward for funding from the Housing Estate improvement programme this year (£100 for some keypads). Other wards have applied for thousands to be invested locally from this fund.
We’ll take a further look at campaigning in a future article.