TUSC guides to the 2017 elections
The TUSC national steering committee has published detailed guides to the elections taking place on Thursday May 4th, including a timetable and procedures to approve any TUSC candidates there may be in these contests.
There are elections this year for all the 32 Scottish councils, the 22 councils in Wales, and 33 English county councils and unitary authorities. At the same time there will be Mayoral elections for the new combined authorities' so-called 'Metro-Mayors', in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Teesside, the West of England, and the West Midlands.
As usual TUSC has produced a directory of these elections, listing the councils being contested and their current political control, the number of councillors up for election and, in a new feature, a list of the 210 Labour councillors who publically joined the coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn last summer who are up for re-election this year! The directory is available on our website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/392.pdf.
TUSC has also now published its annual Guide for TUSC Candidates and Agents, available as a downloadable PDF at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/393.pdf. This includes the timetable and procedures to become a TUSC candidate in May.
Serious anti-cuts campaigns
The guide makes the point that the victory of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader on an anti-austerity platform in September 2015 changed the political situation compared to the first five years of TUSC's existence and that this effects how our coalition approaches standing in elections.
The TUSC national steering committee, which has the final say on approving election candidates, is determined not to undermine Jeremy's leadership or the anti-austerity struggle that lay behind his victory. Indeed, building that struggle is the only way his leadership can be sustained against the right-wing forces that still remain within the Labour Party and which are particularly entrenched amongst its elected representatives, in parliaments, assemblies and council chambers.
To make sure that any prospective TUSC candidacies meet those criteria some more detailed questions on the attitude of the Labour candidate to fighting the cuts were added to the 2016 TUSC candidate application form compared to previous years (see Becoming a TUSC Candidate at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidate).
And this year there is a further, very pertinent question: 'What is the name of the candidate selected to stand for Labour and what public position did they take, if any, in last summer's leadership contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith?'
The form is available on the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/391.doc.
The election timetable - summary
Wednesday February 15th - The date of the first TUSC national steering committee meeting to consider candidate applications, which must be received at least two days before to be processed at this meeting.
Monday March 6th - The first date on which local candidates can sign their official Consent to Nomination form.
Wednesday March 22nd - The date of the March meeting of the TUSC national steering committee. Candidate applications must be received at least two days before to be processed at this meeting
Monday March 27th - The official Notices of Election for the local authority elections are published. Local election candidate nomination papers can be handed in from this point.
Tuesday April 4th - The deadline for the delivery of official nomination papers (4pm) for the local elections. This is also the deadline for the appointment of election agents.
Thursday May 4th - Polling day (7am to 10pm)