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Tuesday 5 November 2013

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TUSC stands candidates in twelve council by-elections in next five weeks

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is contesting by-elections in twelve wards in ten different councils over the next five weeks.

This week (November 7th) sees by-elections in the Bootle Derby ward of Sefton council on Merseyside and two contests in Nottingham, in the city council's Dales and Radford & Park wards. TUSC's Bootle candidate is Graham Woodhouse, the secretary of the PCS civil service union Highways Agency North West branch and a member of PCS Department for Transport Group Executive Committee. In Nottingham TUSC is represented by Unite member Cathy Meadows, standing in the Dales ward, and GMB union member Geraint Thomas, standing in Radford & Park (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16848/16-10-2013/nottingham-tusc-announces-candidates-for-two-city-council-by-elections )

A week later, on November 14th, TUSC is standing in the Baddeley, Milton & Norton by-election in Stoke, with Unite member Liat Norris carrying the TUSC anti-cuts banner in a crowded ten-candidate contest (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16850/22-10-2013/stoke-on-trent-by-election-to-have-a-real-anti-cuts-candidate )

The last two weeks of November see TUSC contesting by-elections in Hatfield (21st November) and the London borough of Lambeth (28th November). The Hatfield contest, for the South ward seat on Hatfield Town Council, is being fought for TUSC by retired teacher, and recently resigned Labour Party member, Roy Jenkins.

The Lambeth by-election is for a seat in the council's Vassall ward which has become vacant following the resignation of the Labour councillor, Kingsley Abrams, a member of the Unite national executive committee. Kingsley was suspended from the Lambeth Labour group in 2012 for opposing the cuts being implemented by the Labour-controlled council. He has now resigned, with the seat being contested for TUSC by Steve Nally, whose record in fighting the Tories stretches back to the role he played as the national secretary of the All-Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation in the early 1990s.

The first week of December sees six wards being contested by TUSC, in five different councils. There are two wards with by-elections in Cardiff, with the Splott electoral division being fought for TUSC by Katrine Williams, chair of PCS Wales, and the Riverside seat by socialist student Joel Beer.

In Manchester the TUSC banner will be carried by another PCS activist, Alex Davidson, a member of the union's North West regional committee, standing in the Ancoats and Clayton council by-election. In Liverpool TUSC is fighting the Riverside by-election, following the resignation of Paul Brant, the council's deputy mayor and finance chief. Our candidate is John Marston, a former Labour Party election agent during the 1980s struggle of the Liverpool 47 councillors. In the Shettleston ward in Glasgow, TUSC's candidate is the underground driver and anti-bedroom tax activist, Jaime Cocozza.

And lastly, but certainly not least, TUSC will be represented on December 5th by an 18-year old sixth-form student, Aidan O'Toole, contesting the Arbury ward on Nuneaton and Bedworth borough council.

Why don't you stand?

If there is a by-election in your area and you're prepared to stand as a TUSC candidate, get in touch. One thing you will need to do is to get a Certificate of Authorisation from the TUSC National Nominating Officer to hand in with the nomination papers to the local council returning officer. An application form is available on the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php

The TUSC national steering committee is also appealing for candidates to come forward for next May's local council elections. To get what the BBC calls 'balanced media coverage', parties need to contest 15% of the seats up for election - that means 625 TUSC candidates in the 2014 local elections. Could you be one of those? Check out the TUSC website for details at http://www.tusc.org.uk/16847/15-10-2013/tusc-steering-committee-sets-timetable-for-2014-local-elections-campaign

Remember - if there is no trade unionist or socialist candidate standing as an alternative to the austerity parties, a cuts candidate will win unchallenged.