Dear Pirate Party Member,
I am writing to all members as the Nominations Officer for Pirate Party UK.
As some of you may be aware, there are local elections due to be held on Thursday 3rd May 2018. These are taking place all over the country with around 4,000 council seats up for grabs. Here are the local authorities where elections will take place.
Local elections represent a fantastic opportunity to spread awareness about the Pirate Party. Fighting parliamentary seats can be difficult and expensive, and it's very hard for smaller parties to break through. However, local elections can be fought with virtually no resources, and with the focus on local issues and local candidates, it's much easier for smaller parties to be heard.
Fighting local elections is a key strategy for the Pirate Party. Electoral success does not come overnight, but by building awareness among the voters over time. By standing in a ward for several elections, a candidate and party can increase the support they get by building a base.
We are looking for people to stand for the Pirate Party in May. The party intends to provide support to candidates to help them navigate through the process, whichis quite straight forward. The support will cover planning a campaign, completing the required paperwork in a timely fashion, and ensuring that the process is completed smoothly.
So what does it take to be a candidate?
There are very few barriers to standing in local elections. Most Pirate Party members would easily meet the criteria. (**A summary of the criteria can be found at the bottom of this message**)
How much time does it take?
This depends on how big a campaign you want to run. Some people are happy just to appear on the ballot paper. This requires no more than a few forms, the collection of the signatures from ten eligible electors in the ward, and the delivery by hand of this information to the Electoral Services office of the local authority. You may find local papers get in touch for a statement of a few hundred words to publish online or in print.
You may choose a social media campaign. This could involve the setting up a Facebook page or similar. This can be a great way to contact specific audiences, such as people of a certain age or with specific interests. The cost is quite modest and can be done from home.
Lastly, there is a traditional leafleting/canvassing strategy. Leaflets can be effective, but is the most costly route, in addition to the time required to deliver thousands of leaflets. This is only recommended if you have many hours to devote to the campaign and additional support from others to help on the ground.
As shown above, there is an option for everyone, from just wanting to be a name on a ballot paper right up to a full blown campaign. Support is available to assist whatever option you feel is right for you. As a party we ask as many people to come forward who may be interested. Standing for election is very enjoyable experience for most people. Being in the hall where votes are counted feels like being in the beating heart of our democracy.
Of course, if you are elected (and why wouldn't you be?) there will be some pretty major time commitments. But many people who are local councillors also hold down fulltime jobs.
I appeal for anyone who might interested in standing to get in touch, and I can answer any questions you may have. The Pirate Party has a strong and distinctive voice, yet unless we communicate our ideas to voters outside the party, we are no more that a private club who talks to ourselves. If you believe in the policies of Pirate Party, and want to be part of spreading this message, please consider standing for election in May's local elections.
Pirate Party UK Nominations Officer
**The main qualifying criteria are:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a British citizen, or a citizen of a European Union member state or eligible Commonwealth citizen and meet at least one of the following:
- a) be registered to vote as local government elector for the local authority area in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards
- b) you have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
- c) your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the local authority area
- d) you have lived in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election
There are certain people who are disqualified from being elected to a local authority in England and Wales. You cannot be a candidate if at the time of your nomination and on polling day:
- a) you are employed by the local authority or hold a paid office under the authority (including joint boards or committees). Note that you may be ‘employed by the local authority’ if, for example, you work at certain schools, fire service, police or health services. This list is not exhaustive
- b) you hold a politically restricted post.
- c) you are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order
- d) you are the mayor for a combined authority area that the local authority is a part of. The only exception to this is where the combined authority mayoral election and the election of councillors falls on the same day. In that case, you may stand at both contests. However, if you are elected at both, a vacancy in the office of councillor will automatically arise.