Tim Andrews, County Council candidate for Fulbourn and SE Cambs Labour campaign coordinator speaks about his optimism for the local elections. We interview Tim about campaigning during lockdown and Labour’s chances on May 6th.
It’s not a general election, is it important?
Absolutely. On May 6th we choose our new Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the Police & Crime Commissioner and a whole new County Council. They account for around 80% of public services in our area. And it’s four years in office so they will have time to make a big difference.
Will it be difficult now that you can’t campaign?
We are busy campaigning while complying with lockdown. We run phone banks six times a week. Local party members calling voters to find out what matters to them. We’ve got more volunteers than ever before.
We’re active on social media and it’s working. One of our videos had over a 1000 views in a week. We’ve put out 15 news pieces this year already. Published our candidates’ profiles. Candidate blogs are proving very popular.
We saw postal votes making a big difference to Biden’s victory in the US. We’re encouraging people to sign up for postal votes. It’s easy to apply and vote safely from home.
What issues are you hearing about?
Obviously the pandemic. Voters are pleased with the NHS vaccination programme but they know what a mess the Tories made. They see the dither and delay and the terrible cost in illness and lives.
Another issue is inequality. That our key workers are not paid properly. The free school meals issue and how many are turning to food banks.
What about local issues?
We hear about lack of affordable housing and how people are isolated because of poor public transport. These are areas where local Government can make a big difference. And Labour always pays close attention to Green delivery too.
People have seen the Lib Dems in South Cambs, and tell us they feel let down. Election promises broken. Key services cut. Planning permission for large developments against local wishes. Even voting for building on green fields.
And voters see that Labour is taking the time to ask what matters to them and they hear little from the other parties.
But isn’t this all a waste of effort? Surely Labour has little chance around here …
A lot has changed since these elections were last held. We’re hearing from people who are fed up with Lib Dem claims. They feel their votes are taken for granted and despite the claims they still keep getting the Tories.