We need more Green councillors in Oxfordshire
Could you follow in the footsteps of our Green Party councillors, and stand for election? You could improve the quality of our councils by representing the people and views that the governing parties ignore.
Or you could help organise events and campaigns in your ward. Could you get local people to come out and join the campaign?
In May 2022 there will be elections for councillors in each of the Oxford City wards, and 1/3 of the wards in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire district councils. Then in May 2023 there will be elections in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse.
We need candidates to start right now, preparing for the elections in 2022 and 2023. Voters like to vote for people they have heard from over time, rather than those who just turn up in the last few weeks.
From time to time we arrange meet a Green councillors sessions, where you can find out what Green county, district, town and parish councillors do and how they got elected. Check our events page. Here is a recording of one.
What you need to do to stand as a candidate
Do you want to get elected as a councillor, or just stand? If you just want to give people in your area a chance to vote Green, rather than being forced to vote for another party, you just need to get on the ballot paper and on our web site. On the other hand, if you want to help people as an elected councillor, you need to run a serious campaign as a candidate in a target seat.
There are places where we cannot win in the next election. It takes time to grow the Green Party in a ward until there are enough local supporters to run a campaign to win. In those areas we need a candidate to stand, so that residents can vote Green. You don't need to campaign. If you would like to campaign, you can help a target candidate or stand as a development candidate.
All you have to do as a non-target candidate is:
- Get nominated. You need to get 10 voters in your ward to sign a form saying they think you should be allowed to stand. They don't need to vote for you, or be Green supporters. They can be friends, family, or just neighbours. You have to sign nomination forms in March and and other forms in May. The local Green Party agent can help you with the forms and signatures.
- Supply a photograph suitable for the web site.
- Write a short election statement for the web site. A bit about yourself, and a bit about what you would do if elected.
- Sign relevant candidate pledges to support particular campaigns (as advised by our policy hub team) - or ask the agent to do it in your name. Some campaign groups now send surveys to all candidates and report on which responded.
Read a full explanation of what non-target or paper candidates do in this paper candidate guide.
If you are interested, sign up on the candidates wanted page.
There are a number of seats where we have won, or came close to winning in the past. If you don't know what a councillor does, take at look at this councillor role description.
Obviously, such a campaign needs more work than just getting nominated. Candidates are expected to take an active role in their election campaign, including:
- join a campaign team, including a campaign manager, and senior roles to manage volunteers, publicity, data and fundraising,
- work with your team to implement a campaign plan,
- talk to hundreds of voters on the doorstep and at other events,
- taking part in campaign team decisions, including campaign messages,
- respond to voters questions and concerns,
- be the front person in fundraising appeals.
Candidates selected for target seats who commit to work hard enough to win will get support from the Oxfordshire Green Party, including guidance, opportunities for training and mentoring, technical support and funding.
We are committed to supporting people stand for election. If you have support needs to allow you to stand for election—from childcare to disability support needs—please discuss these with us soon so we can arrange support. Being in the Green Party means we are committed to work as a team, no one has to do anything alone, we will find a way to help in any aspect of campaigning and when people become Councillors.
If you are interested in winning a seat, let us know on the candidates wanted page, then go on to complete the candidate application questionnaire. There will be a series of target candidate application deadlines. Applicants have to complete a form, then speak to election committee members in preparing for selection hustings where you answer questions from members before they vote to select our target candidates.
It is possible, over several years, to build up support for the Green Party and our candidate to win anywhere. A team of local supporters can do a little campaigning throughout the year to get us better known among local residents. If you are interested in leading such a campaign, you can apply to become a development candidate.
As a small party, we do not have the resources (money and volunteers) to do serious campaigns in more than a few target wards. The English first past the post voting system means that we have to concentrate our efforts. We don't get any councillors by coming second everywhere. In particular, in the last 6 weeks of the campaign, all our effort needs to go to support target candidates.
But in the rest of the year a team of local supporters can do surveys to find out what local residents need, raise funds and print and deliver a few local newsletters. As you get better known locally, more people will offer to help, until you have enough people to mount a full campaign. That can happen quickly if you are involved in a local issue campaign that excites residents or gradually. But in March, drop everything to help your nearest target candidate.
If you are interested in developing a ward, let us know on the candidates wanted page, then email <[email protected]> so I can put you in touch with the local campaign team. In the meantime, you can get nominated as a non-target candidate.