Local elections aren’t held on the level. Not in Wigan.

Are local elections held on a fair playing field?

Wigan’s Labour leader puts out a magazine called Borough Life.

Put out in February/March, it extols the virtues of schemes that Labour Councillor’s have attached themselves too.

It includes a foreword by the leader of the Labour Group but as Leader of The Council.

It puts a positive spin on favourable issues and ignores unfavourable ones.

This is on top of “Council” initiatives, scheduled to be unveiled, or re-unveiled to gain maximum publicity in the Local Press.

(for four successive years a chewing gum cleaning initiative was rolled out prior to the May elections http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhKCEDTvBWQ )

This by-passes the electoral balance issue, because it is Council based, as opposed to (Labour) Council (candidate) based.

How much of the cost of the main parties’  glossy election leaflets and their distribution is borne by the party machine?

A typical ward has 10,ooo voters (say 5,000 houses). Commercial printing and distribution of 5,000 A4 leaflets, typically, costs about £750.

These sort of sums, for one leaflet drop, are beyond the reach of the ordinary punter.

Independants can and do manage a leaflet drop. Usually a cheap home produced black and white leaflet, which has to be distributed, by friends and family, to every house, care home (not easily accessible, especially if controlled by Council employees). Taking a housing estate as about 200 houses, that’s walking up the paths of every house in 25 housing estates. That needs a lot of walking, on blistered feet, or a lot of helpers. For just one leaflet.

Every Labour club in every section of every ward puts up its own huge banner.

Check out http://www.politics.ie/forum/elections/76156-election-posters-2.html for corriboards (cheapest kind of election poster) at £50 each. Not cheap



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