From the local papers ...
Thursday's Whitehaven News contained the following letter from local businesswoman Carla Arrighi:
SIR – As many of your readers are aware, myself and several other people are running a campaign in support of getting an elected mayor.
This has not been an easy task, because although we have had a lot of support of the community, we have had no help from the council – the opposite, in fact.
To be eligible to sign our petition you have to be over 18, and live in the Copeland area. Fair enough. But how come a prospective Labour councillor is allowed to stand when he does not even live in the area? He does work in the area and this is one of the requirements, but it means that if he wanted to sign my petition he would not be able to, but he would be able to be a councillor.
I wonder if your readers think this is fair or democratic?
Some of those reading this may have been wondering which candidate Carla is referring to, whether he is one of those standing to represent the ward where they live, and how far outside Copeland is the home of the gentleman concerned lives. If someone was putting up who worked in the area and lived a few hundred yards outside, no reasonable person would make too much fuss, surely?
Well, if Carla is referring to the person I think she must be referring to, we're talking a bit more than a few hundred yards. In fact one of the Labour candidates standing to represent Bransty ward has given an address in Kirklinton on his nomination papers - which is a few miles on the other side of Carlisle and a good hour's drive away from Copeland.
If you find that so hard to believe that you would like to see some evidence, here's the statement of persons nominated again. (Click to enlarge.)
At the same time that someone whose home is more than an hour's drive from Copeland is standing to represent Bransty ward, prominent members of the Labour party who do live in Bransty ward are standing for Copeland council in areas like Bootle and Gosforth, which are nearly as long a drive in the opposite direction.
All these candidates have been validly nominated and it is entirely within the rules for them to stand for these wards, but it is hardly unreasonable for their opponents to ask how "local" these candidates are.