red and white flag with dragon
Photo by Catrin Ellis on Unsplash

I love campaigning. No matter if it is in an election I want to stand in or for other candidates. Knocking doors, never knowing for certain (despite data) if the person will be friendly (very quick!), persuadable (much longer conversation) or hostile – maybe long or short depending on mood I’m in. The joys of the Welsh weather, the comrades who are with you and the data! It’s been cold recently. But when it gets close to the elections (usually in May – don’t remind me of the last GE please) – sunny. I love it and I love winning more.

I am a Co-operative Party and Welsh Labour candidate (again!) for the local council elections in Wales. In 2017, the Co-operative Party nationally sent volunteers to door knock in the local elections. The more the merrier, as often local elections door knocking is the candidates doing most of it themselves. So, it is most welcome to get some bodies to help (alongside support from the Co-operative Council in Wales – thank you).

The reason I am a Co-operative Party candidate is because of the policies. The Co-operative Party has long worked to end the scourge of modern slavery and for me, working against modern slavery is an important policy goal. We know that the pandemic has increased the number of people in modern slavery conditions across Wales.

For me it is also about co-operative values. Helping your community, building locally to transform and include as many people as possible. Establishing a community bank. That is what, in my view, local elections are about as well. It is the place we can implement the pledges and ideas from, for example, the Senedd Co-operative Party Manifesto. It has so many fantastic ideas that I hope, with 16 Members of the Senedd as well as a Minister of Co-operative Economy, will be implemented across Wales and will cascade into local authorities too. And then there is the 12 ideas: 2022 local elections manifesto.

It includes to:

  • Put food justice at the top of the agenda,
  • Rebuild a fairer local economy,
  • Pledge to be a community co-operator post COVID 19,
  • Unlock your high street,
  • Lead the fight against corporate tax avoidance,
  • Ensure safer retail workers and safer communities,
  • Establish a private tenants’ association to give private renters a voice,
  • Support a new co-operative and community-led housing,
  • Promote and develop credit unions,
  • Encourage co-operative models in the local area,
  • End transport inequality by promoting community transport and not-for-profit bus operators.

These are the policies we need right now. That is where, if elected, we can make a huge positive difference to the lives of everyone in our community. Together, we can help those struggling with the Tory cost of living catastrophe; we can set up community services that help all of us. Together we can build a better community. As co-operators in power we can make it a reality.