West Women’s Forum really want to continue encouraging as many women to apply to stand as a local Councillor in the 2018 elections. The selection process will start sometime this year so we’ve penciled in a training and information day for those that are interested. Please save the afternoon of Sunday 26th February in your diaries, children are welcome! I’ve set up a Facebook group support group, please join here.
For the meantime for those interested or thinking about applying to be a councillor. Cllr Rachel Tripp and I have put together some advice and things you should consider.
1) Get active in the party- whenever there’s a date to go out campaigning stick it in your diary, attend branch and General Committee meetings (observers at our General Committee meeting are welcome!)
2) If you can’t make campaigning or meeting dates see if there is anything you can do. Julianne, CLP Vice-Chair of Campaigns and Communications regularly sends out campaigning dates, email her back to see what else you can do, maybe phone canvass or leafleting in your own time. You can also email the chair of your branch too.
In 2013 I was working in Brussels so I couldn’t make a lot of meetings, I volunteered to set up and manage my branch’s social media account to help me stay involved and advertise key dates and news.
3) Make sure Julianne’s fantastic emails are not going to your junk mail!
4) Have a think about getting on social media? Twitter? Facebook?
5) Coffees dates! Don’t be afraid to ask your local branch chair or local Councillors for coffee! Ask questions and network.
6) It might be a bit embarrassing to put yourself forward but we need people like you! We really do! And there is nothing wrong with saying you’re interested in standing then changing your mind.
7) Find out more about what Newham council does. www.newham.gov.uk is a good place to start. A lot of council meetings are public too!
8) “Ask her”: Think of someone you think would be a good Councillor and invite them along to the training day on 26th February and to the Facebook group. The overall aim is to get as many female councillor candidates as possible, help pay this encouragement forward.
9) Find yourself a cheerleader, it could be a partner or a loved one. For many of the 2014 crew it was our fantastic MP Lyn Brown that cheered us on. I know a lot of the current councillors would gladly be your cheerleader.