‘The Labour Party is contesting the Bishop’s Castle by-election for a new Shropshire Council Councillor.

Following the resignation of the current Councillor and with the election date set for Thursday 12th September, the Bishop’s Castle, Clun and Chirbury Branch Labour Party has selected a Labour candidate.

Gren Jackson, Secretary of the local Labour Branch, said

“ With the Bishop’s Castle Ward’s growth in membership since 2016, we have established a dedicated local Branch of over 50 Members. We are ready to get the Labour message over. The austerity cuts instituted by the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition continue to devastate local communities. By next year 60 % of government funding for local authorities will have vanished compared with 2010. In Shropshire, this is upwards of a £200 million cut. As well as threatening the viability of our health and social services this is causing great harm to many Bishop’s Castle people and local services such as the library, SpArC and buses.”

The Labour Party candidate is Bishop’s Castle resident Andy Stelman. Andy has worked extensively in the UK and abroad in the probation service. He has been a Chair of School Governors, Chair of a local charity dealing with victims of hate crime, and is currently a trustee with Shropshire Disability Network.

Although Andy has only lived in the Castle for six years he cannot now imagine living anywhere else. He believes that the County Council marginalises the town and surrounding villages in order to fund big projects in urban centres such as Shrewsbury and will fight tooth and nail to see that there is an equal playing field in terms of resource allocation. He feels that much more needs to be done to ensure that the town centre is vibrant including action to ensure that the old newsagents’ shop is either rented out or at least maintained to safeguard the fabric of the building.

Andy is a proud member of Extinction Rebellion and sees the climate emergency as the highest priority for everyone. As a firm believer in consensus politics he would work with any representative from any party who share his beliefs in a fair, just, environmentally responsible society.’

John Higson has been appointed Election Agent.

Judith Payne, a long-term resident of Bishop’s Castle, who stood in the last Council By-election, will be supporting Andy throughout the election.

A campaign plan is being worked on, including leaflet drops to all households, canvassing, street stalls and provisionally an Hustings on 3rd September. An election leaflet will be ready next week.

The LibDems and Conservatives are contesting the By-election.

Please help the campaign in anyway you possibly can by contacting:

Andy Stelman mailto:andystelman@talk21.com

Next Open Meeting on the Climate and Ecological Emergency

At our June Branch meeting we supported unanimously a Motion backing Labour for a Green New Deal. Members asked that we take action to bring together the many local voluntary groups.

Ideas for working locally to respond to what politicians of all parties and at all levels are gradually recognising as global threats will be presented at the Church Barn, Church Lane, Bishop’s Castle on Thursday 5th September at 7.30pm. From reducing plastics in the environment to turning our verges into wildlife corridors and building resilience into our own communities, come along to find out what you can do, and to share your own initiatives.

This is an OPEN meeting organised by Bishop’s Castle, Clun, Chirbury and Worthen Labour Party and will include discussion of the policies we should be looking for from those in government at every level. The non-party-political, international pressure group Extinction Rebellion will also be represented as will the county-wide Shropshire Labour for a Green New Deal. All are welcome to this free event.

Further information from Evelyn Bowles (BCCC BLP Vice Chair) on 01588 638 851.

Best wishes

Gren Jackson

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