Getting elected is rarely about just one thing. Different people have different priorities and in terms of the people we elect to represent us locally, our choices will be based no differently.
Realistically, this means that even if there is one local issue that you feel really passionate about, you will need to broaden your understanding of other issues too.
You need to be able to communicate what you have to offer in a way that will appeal to all of your potential voters. Not just a few.
It means that when the time for your Election Campaign arrives, you will be equipped and have a good understanding of 3 to 5 real issues facing people locally – perhaps more. Issues that you can use to develop a Manifesto upon which you will build your Campaign. Issues upon which you can base your Pledges – that’s your commitment to voters regarding what you will aim to do.
Your Election Pledges need to be realistic, but aspirational. Solid, but with an open appreciation of what the political environment may allow you to achieve or realistically do. Simple, but with an understanding of the complexity of what it takes to get things done in government.
It is important that you never lie. That you never create issues just to get attention. Or make promises that you know you can never keep.
Always be sure that your Election Pledges reflect what you can realistically influence and not responsibilities of another authority – i.e. relating to something that in the role you would be elected to, you could never actually do.
Use language that shows enthusiasm for what you are doing, as genuine passion always has an advantage in gaining support and convincing people that you can actually win.
However, you should never mislead people by talking in a way which you know deep down is not you, or shows you to be something that you know you are not.
REMEMBER: You can fight for anything. But there is a difference between saying you will fight for something and saying you will change something.
Be honest about you plans and what you know you can actually do. People will then be far more supportive of you.
Suggestions for Pledges:
Unless you are campaigning with a running mate in a multiple seat Ward or Division, you should never have the same Election Pledges as any other Candidate. Even then, you might only share a few.
From this point of view, it is essential that you identify your own issues as a basis for your Election Pledges and Manifesto.
However, the issues which will appeal to most people can usually be narrowed down to a few.
It will be useful for you to research and understand how they relate to the local people who you are going to ask to vote for you and tailor them to your area.
These may include:
- Anti-social behaviour
- Building on the Greenbelt
- Buses and Public Transport
- Bus Shelters
- Council Tax
- Community Resources & Public Buildings (Museums, Recreation Centres etc)
- Community Transport
- Dog Bins
- Flooding & Flood Protection
- Green Spaces
- Local Grants
- Refuse Collections
- Road Safety
- Social care
- Street Cleansing
- Young People
REMEMBER: Depending on the level and type of authority you are seeking election to, you will be restricted to what you can actually influence or do. Do not make promises you know you can never keep!