JOINT STATEMENT OF KETTERING AND WELLINGBOROUGH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS AND NORTH NORTHANTS GREEN PARTY. RELEASED BY DANIEL JONES (CHAIR, KETTERING AND WELLINGBOROUGH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS) AND DEZ DELL (COORDINATOR, NORTH NORTHANTS GREEN PARTY). FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
The elections on May 6th are the most important local elections for our county in decades. After our county council was made effectively bankrupt in 2018, we need new voices on the council. With the new unitary council formed this April we have a chance to build a council that listens to all of our voices and delivers for the priorities of local people in North Northamptonshire. As the ongoing pandemic shows, local councils do vital work to deliver necessary services to residents including care for the most vulnerable. If North Northamptonshire is to work for everyone, then this cannot be a business-as-usual election.
Ideally voters would have the chance to vote for both the Liberal Democrats and the Greens in every area, but under the current First-Past-the-Post voting system we have seen the same old faces in the council chambers, and the same problems repeated – services cut, needs ignored, voices silenced. This new council can be different, and that means taking a new approach. Kettering and Wellingborough Liberal Democrats and North Northants Green Party both support proportional representation but until our broken voting system is overhauled both parties have made the difficult decision to minimise competition between them. We need a council that represents the views of all voters, so we have individually chosen not to campaign against each other.
What this means is that the Liberal Democrats are not standing in Clover Hill and encourage their supporters to vote for the Green Party candidates: Dez Dell, Emily Fedorowycz and Sarah Tubbs. The Liberal Democrats support the Save Weekley Hall Wood community group, and admire the work done by the non-partisan campaign team. A victory for the Green Party in Clover Hill will be a clear sign that local people value the future of the ‘forest on their doorstep’.
In Wicksteed the Green Party are not standing unitary candidates and encourage their supporters to vote for the party best able to bring fresh ideas to the council there – the Liberal Democrats: Andrew Dutton, Chris Nelson and Chris McGlynn. Cllr Andrew Dutton worked with Cllr Chris Stanbra (Oakley) to declare a Climate Emergency on the shadow authority for North Northamptonshire, and both are members of the Green Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats are putting tackling the climate emergency as their number one priority for the new council, and together we hope to work as one united team to progress the good sustainability work already started.
In Burton and Broughton, the Liberal Democrats are standing two candidates and the Green Party are standing one candidate. Both parties urge their supporters to vote for both Liberal Democrat candidates and for the Green candidate. In other wards where the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party are standing one candidate each, residents are encouraged to vote for both parties. For their third vote voters are encouraged to consider active campaigners who would give more diverse liberally-minded voices on the council.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Wicksteed, Cllr Andrew Dutton said: “Liberal Democrats and the Green Party working together during this campaign is a foretaste of what we want to see in the future with members of different parties working together for the benefit of people in NorthNorthamptonshire, particularly in tackling climate change”.
Cllr Chris Stanbra, Liberal Democrat candidate for Oakley, added "I think it is great that the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats are co-operating at this election in selected wards. It is grown up politics. We need to see more of it."
Dez Dell, coordinator of the North Northants Green Party, said “As we are currently one of the smaller parties in North Northamptonshire, it makes sense for us not to try and split the vote of those who may wish to vote Green or Lib Dem. The Liberal Democrats have impressed us with their work on the environment, the Climate Emergency and working towards a sustainable future”.
Clover Hill Green Party candidate Emily Fedorowycz added “It’s so important that we work to get some fresh voices on the council. Liberal minded parties such as ours need to support one another now more than ever and avoid splitting votes where possible to strive toward a more representative council. We are pleased to support the Liberal Democrats standing in Wicksteed and encourage residents to vote Lib Dem this time - they are without question the people working hard to make Kettering a better place to live.”
Candidates for Burton and Broughton are: Jenny Davies (Liberal Democrat), Chris Groome (LiberalDemocrat) and Adrian Watts (Green).
Candidates for Clover Hill are: Dez Dell (Green), Emily Fedorowycz (Green) and Sarah Tubbs (Green).
Candidates for Wicksteed are: Andrew Dutton (Liberal Democrat), Chris Nelson (Liberal Democrat)and Chris McGlynn (Liberal Democrat).
If media would like further comment:
North Northants Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Chris Stanbra can be reached at [email protected], Cllr Andrew Dutton can be reached [email protected] or general comment from the local party can be sought [email protected]
North Northants Green Party Coordinator Dez Dell andCampaigner Emily Fedorowycz can be reached at [email protected]