It’s official: the Co-operative Party will be standing over 1,000 candidates in the upcoming Local Elections. This is a record number for the Party, which has been increasing the numbers of candidates fielded and councillors elected over the last six years.

Through the year we ran different types of training, targeted communications, actions, coffee mornings, WhatsApp groups and campaigns alongside conferences and events aimed at Councillors and candidates. It was a big effort, but local government is so important to our Party and our co-operative movement.

With our increased numbers and increased support, I believe the Co-operative Party has become one of the most ambitious organisations on the centre left of British politics with respect to what we can achieve in local government. We must realise this potential.

We are currently represented on over 70% of all UK Councils. Together we have brought change to areas like modern slavery, fair tax, high streets, food justice and much more. We have achieved so much, but there is still much more to do. This change and the opportunity for more underscores is why it is so important we celebrate the record numbers of co-operators going into these elections and focus on what comes next.

After this election, our Party will commit to working with our new and existing councillors to ensure that the voice, values and principles of the co-operative movement are heard loudly in town halls across the country. I look forward to this work as much as I celebrate the huge increase in interest in representing our Party and movement that we are currently seeing.

I want to thank all the candidates who have come through our Party and our Candidate Development Programme, our local parties who have worked hard to support this effort and development, and of course our members. We’re making history, and it wouldn’t be possible without each and every one of you.