The slogan, “It’s your vote, don’t lose it” is often used to urge the electorate into action. However, in the run up to this year’s local elections, it’s a lack of candidates which has challenged the local democratic process, making the town council May elections redundant in Bridgnorth, Broseley and Much Wenlock.
All three councils face a shortage of nominees, resulting in uncontested elections and vacancies on town councils. The three town councils do have a few fresh faces. Robin Bennett, who is a new councillor in Much Wenlock said: “I’m looking forward to being more involved in the community. It was a relief for a first time councillor like me not to have an election.”
New councillor in Bridgnorth, David Cooper said: “What’s surprised me as a first time candidate is the number of people who’ve said, “Well done for standing” but don’t feel it’s something they could do themselves. The town council is about people wanting to improve their town. It would be great if there were enough people want to get involved for all of the seats to be contested at the next election.”
Broseley councillor Jean Jones, is an experienced councillor who is standing again: “The role of local councillors is becoming more onerous. Representing your community can be rewarding and many councillors have already served a five year term. Ideally, councils should have a balance of experienced members, who are taking forward long-term projects, and new recruits with fresh ideas and expertise. Most worrying is the lack of candidates coming forward to trigger elections, especially young people, as this is creating a democratic deficit in my opinion.”
Elections will still be held for the Shropshire Council seats – so do still use your vote!