News from Kent and Sussex Branch:
The SPGB today became the first party to have a candidate nomination accepted in the Shepway District for the Kent County Council election on 4th May. Both divisions of Folkestone town, with a combined electorate of just over 26,000 on newly re-drawn boundaries, are being contested with Max Hess and Andy Thomas being the candidates.
We are also standing for East Sussex County Council, in the Lewes electoral division which is close to Brighton and has almost 9,000 voters, where Howard Pilott will be the candidate.
Both areas were contested by the Party in the 2014 European Parliament elections, and Folkestone was also contested in the 2015 general election, when a candidate was also stood in the District council election.
West London branch, in conjunction with comrades living there and elsewhere in Surrey, is standing a candidate in Guildford in the county council elections in Surrey where in the 1980s there was a very active Party branch. Although Surrey was part of the South East Region for the 2014 Euroelections, it was the only country where we didn't arrange for Royal Mail to distribute our election manifesto, which is one reason why we will be using the wording of that manifesto. But we'll have to distribute it ourselves since there is no free postal distribution in local elections.
Letter published in the Hounslow Chronicle (17 March )in response to one from someone in the ex-Militant Tendency signing himself "Staines and Surrey Socialist Party":
Socialists will have candidate
Paul Couchman (Your Say, March 3) says he wants to build "the Socialist Party in Staines and Surrey" and hopes that there will be Socialist candidates in May's County Council elections.
The good news is that there will be. The bad news, for him, is that it will not be his party, ie the old Militant Tendency under the usurped name of our party which has existed since 1904. We shall be standing on a straight socialist programme of the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, with production for use not profit, not for mere reforms to capitalism as he wants."