Your community needs you

January 17, 2012 4:27 PM

Brentwood Town Hall - opened in 1957Brentwood Lib Dems are looking for people from all backgrounds that care about their community to stand for council in this year's borough elections.

Whilst we always have a number of people who are already party members and wish to stand for election, we are keen to cast the net wider and offer more people the opportunity to be considered.

You don't have to be a die-hard politician - many of our councillors and activists aren't! Usually, they are just people who get involved to make a difference in the area where they live and that is exactly what we aim to do as Brentwood Lib Dems!

It's also not a full time or salaried job (although there is an allowance to cover costs such as mileage, postage, childcare etc.) and council meetings are held in the evenings allowing community-focused people to participate. It is important that the council has a diverse base of councillors who really understand what it is like to do normal things like work, commute, raise a family, balance the family budget, contribute to the community, enjoy a social life and apply these "real life" skills to the council. After all, the role of a councillor is to represent the people to the council, not the other way round.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced the participants in the Liberal Democrat Leadership Programme, supporting future Parliamentary candidates from under-represented backgrounds. We also hope to see more council candidates, and councillors, whom are female, from BME backgrounds, disabled, under 30, from a lower socio-economic background or from any Brentwood resident who would like to make a difference.

Cllr David Kendall said:

"It is disappointing to see Brentwood council is 65% male, with only six councillors under 40 and around a third of them of them 60 or over with no BME representation at all. We believe that the council needs to be representative of our community today with a mix of people of different ages, a more even gender balance, all financial situations and backgrounds.

"In 2011, we were proud that our six of our thirteen candidates were female, with a mix of ages from 18 to almost 70, whilst the Tories only fielded three female candidates and Labour fielded four. However, we recognise that we can do more and this is why we are going to the community to seek new candidates who may not have considered getting involved before."

On Thursday 3rd May 2012, we will be contesting the twelve seats that are up for election in Brentwood. Nine of these seats are Tory-held and, in all, 76% of the seats on Brentwood are too so we need strong people to put across the view of our community, rather than the view of the Conservative party (or vote with them, as Labour often do).

The Lib Dems are the main opposition in Brentwood and have constantly stood up against the Tory administration on issues such as saving Brentwood Town Hall, reducing car parking, campaigning against the shared Chief Executive and highlighting the Tories' mis-management of the finances. There is no Tory-LibDem coalition in Brentwood and our voting and campaigning record proves that to be the case!

Interested? Well, if you are 18 or over by 30th March 2012, either registered to vote in Brentwood or have been resident or working in the borough for the previous year, have a genuine interest in what is happening in Brentwood, are supportive of the Liberal Democrats' local aims and objectives and want to make a difference in your community then please get in touch via phone to Cllr David Kendall on 07768 667 824, Karen Chilvers on 07774 248 362, by email to Chair Cllr Ross Carter on brentwood.ongarlibdems@gmail.com or via a Twitter DM to @LibDemsBwd.

NOTES: You do not have to stand in the ward you live in - you can stand in any of the fifteen wards in the borough if you qualify as a candidate for Brentwood. The following seats are up for election in 2012: "Brentwood North", "Brentwood South", "Brentwood West", "Brizes & Doddinghurst", "Hutton Central", "Hutton North", "Hutton South", "Ingatestone, Fryerning & Mountessing", "Pilgrims Hatch", "Shenfield"," Tipps Cross" & "Warley". There are no elections in "Herongate, Ingrave & West Horndon", "Hutton East" or "South Weald" this year but, if you have an interest in these areas we would be happy to talk to you about standing neighbouring wards. Application is subject to an interview process and membership of the Liberal Democrats.


People like YOU are councillors

James Sapwell

Cllr James Sapwell

Case Study: Cllr James Sapwell

James, 21, was elected councillor for Brentwood North ward in 2011. He grew up in Brentwood, attended schools here and stood in the general election as an independent candidate in 2010 and, shortly afterwards, decided to join the Lib Dems, recognising them as the voice of Brentwood residents and the ones who were really opposing the Conservatives in Brentwood. Since being elected, James has been working with residents in his ward on a number of issues and has embraced the opportunity to support the fantastic work going on at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary,

James commutes to London daily and works in shipping. He's also Brentwood's youngest councillor!

Karen Chilvers

Karen Chilvers

Case Study: Karen Chilvers

Karen's involvement started when she learnt that there were plans for a theme park in Thorndon Country Park in 2005 and led a successful campaign to put a stop to it, with other local councillors and hundreds of residents. Karen served as councillor for Brentwood West from 2007-11 and secured a review of the signage of the Brook Street/M25 roundabout during her time as a councillor, as well as fighting over-development and successfully campaigning to save Warley Hill Post Office.

Karen is a Chartered Marketer, animal charity volunteer and commuted to London during her time on the council.

Cllr Philip Mynott

Case Study: Cllr Philip Mynott

Before he joined the Lib Dems, Phil was familiar to many in Brentwood as a key campaigner against the cinema and retail development in William Hunter Way that may see Brentwood look more like Romford or any other town. Disappointingly, despite the huge numbers objecting to the specific proposal the Conservatives ploughed ahead with their plans. After this decision was made, Phil joined us, appreciating the hard work, time and effort he had seen from his local Lib Dem councillors.

Phil is an artist who has been a postman and copy-shop assistant and is now an exam invigilator.