2017 Local Elections HQ


Welcome one and all. This is Something New’s central hub for all things 2017 local elections-related, as a need has arisen for a bit of centralisation on the matter. Ask all queries, post everything relevant in here. This opening post aims to contain all useful information for these elections. It is worth noting that this is essentially the third incarnation of the thread after this one and this one, and you might find useful things in those previous two.

If you’re interested in standing

  1. Check that there is an election in your area this May - all county councils as well as a number of other councils are up for election (full list here)
  2. Read our Standing for Election page, our Values on the homepage, and our Guarantee. You can also check out other things like the manifesto, media coverage and so on
  3. If you’re still on board, post a comment here, introduce yourself and let us know your thoughts and your situation
  4. Even if you can’t stand and just want to help out - we still want to hear from you!

Key dates

  • 28 March – nominations are open everywhere
  • 4 April – nomination deadline (countdown clock)
  • 4 May – election day
  • 5 May – results day

The candidates

Candidates we’re running with
  • Holbrook Ward (Horsham), West Sussex County Council - @Floppy
  • Lichfield City North Ward, Staffordshire County Council - @philipjohn
  • Calleva and Kingsclere Ward (Pamber), Hampshire County Council - @Sonya
  • Eastgate and Moreton Hall Ward (Bury St Edmunds), Suffolk County Council - @Pandy

Guidance on standing

Fundraising plan

  • Estimated cost of a proper campaign - £600 per ward (courtesy of James)
  • Plan to launch a joint Crowdfunder page for all council candidates (TO DO - also coming soon)
  • Worth bearing in mind the campaign spending limit per ward it is £740 + 5p for every registered voter in the ward, but this only applies in the 27 March to 4 May period
  • All spending from the launch of the campaign must be recorded, regardless of when the launch of the campaign is
  • For reference, these are all our previous Crowdfunder campaigns: London, Stepney Green, Horsham and South West Sussex
  • And this is a link to our party finances page which details all expenditure at the 2015 general election

Campaign ideas

  • It is worth bearing in mind the responsibilities of county councils to understand what exactly is in their jurisdiction. According to gov.uk, county councils have control over the following areas: education, transport, planning, fire and public safety, social care, libraries, waste management and trading standards
  • Much of the policy in Something New’s manifesto/the Open Politics project is not applicable to county council elections, although some is - the things that are we will pinpoint and extract
  • We should come up with policies that can be advocated by all county council candidates (sort of national local policies) such as ensuring that local areas are fairly funded by the new National Funding Formula (particularly contentious in Cheshire East where I live, but just an example)
  • Each candidate should also spend some time thinking about and researching local policies specific to their ward/area/county council that they can talk about
  • Beyond local issues, hopping on as many bandwagons as possible (shamelessly) is a great way to get our names out - campaigns such as Fossil Free UK’s to divest council pensions from fossil fuels are great ones to get involved with
  • We are also going to be looking at targeted Facebook advertising, and naturally will be making a racket on Facebook and Twitter using our current social media ‘infrastructure’
  • Most of our fundraising will be going into election leaflets and posters, so be prepared to dedicate some time to going door-to-door. We are very geographically isolated, so if you can convince some friends or family to help out then that would expedite the process and just generally be a positive thing
  • How much time and effort each candidate commits is up to them and down to their specific situation and is not something we will be pressuring you into - but if you’re going to do it, might as well do it right



Great work collecting this @andrewdwilliams. My first thought: If people are interested in being a candidate, what should they do? In the candidates list, would it help to link to our original candidates thread with a sort of “if you want to stand, declare it here” thing, or should they use the comments here? Up to you, but worth stating either way.


+1 on the National Funding Formula too, that’s a huge issue in West Sussex at the moment.


Good question. If this is the ‘hub’, as I have unilaterally christened it, we can simply direct people here. We could put this link out on Twitter for instance (or more accurately, you could) and ask if there’s anyone who wants to be a candidate, or would consider it - as now is the time. I can put something about ‘if you want to be a candidate’ at the start of the post. Unless you are concerned that this thread might become a bit crowded. For now, I think direct people here, I’ll make the alterations. We can re-assess later down the line.

Second question, any chance you could get in touch with @PaulJRobinson and ask what his thoughts are on this - whether he will stand, or if he wants to offer any broad strategy or guidance, having been the only one of us actually on a council.

Yeah, Cheshire East is going from something like the 140th/145th worst funded education authority to the worst funded in the country. It will put serious pressure on the school I go to and all the others in my area if it goes through. Shame there’s no elections in the area, otherwise it would have been a great campaign issue.

Elections this May

Updating this to add @Pandy to the list, who said he will be happy to stand for Suffolk County Council.

Also, I have some ideas for the Crowdfunder page, which I will share with you @Floppy as I can’t seem to start a page on there (unknown technical reason).


Looking at the other thread on paper candidates, here’s an idea; we get everyone who will stand nominated, and use crowdfunding money to do proper leafleting for as many as we can. We can use the other ones as controls to see what our impact is. That’s an actual reason for putting someone down as a paper candidate, which I can live with.

In fact, we could do each one differently; facebook advertising, leafleting, both, and neither, perhaps.


That’s a fantastic idea! I’m well up for that. I’d already thought it’d be interesting to see what’d happen if we had a candidate but made NO effort, but your idea is better :slight_smile:


Right, I’ve condensed the process of getting on the ballot down from the Electoral Commission’s guidance.

Bare essentials:

  • Four compulsory forms, one of which is done by the party’s Nominating Officer (@PaulJRobinson)
  • An optional fifth form if you wish to make someone other than yourself your election agent
  • Requires 10 signatures from residents of the ward you’re standing in to be valid
  • Essentially, all must be delivered in person before 4pm on 4th April to the place designated by the county’s returning officer


This is fantastic, nice one.

A little while ago I started building a “Field Guide” which would become our ‘internal’ documentation for things just like this. The idea is that it’s a collaborative thing too that anyone can edit to fix/update/contribute to our docs.


I wonder if we should put this on there. Alternatively, maybe we should just re-use the same system as the manifesto?


Because the election will have lots of tasks to be done, I’ll set up a trello board and we can link it here. Any objections, just shout.


@andrewdwilliams Your guide is now at https://somethingnew.org.uk/field-guide/elections-county-councils.html along with some other stuff I put together.

Changes can be made just like in the manifesto :slight_smile:


Had another candidate volunteer via email - hopefully he’ll be along soon to say hi :slight_smile:


Well, unfortunately, @Sonya has decided to drop out as a candidate for this year, although has said she will be interested in the parish council election in 2019 if we’re still here.


No worries, that’s perfectly reasonable, and thanks @sonya for volunteering! If there’s any feedback you’d like to give us, then please do :slight_smile:


Thinking of experiments, perhaps we can do something different in each ward. E.g.;

  1. “Paper candidate” - no promotion at all. I guess this is the “control”?
  • Leaflets only
  • Facebook ads only
  • Local press campaign only
  • Leaflets and Facebook ads
  • Leaflets, Facebook ads and local press campaign

Success could be measured by the percentage of the vote we recieve, though we would perhaps have to “weight” it somehow, given each ward may have an obvious political bent. Maybe % of vote compared to other parties instead?

One thing we’d have to figure out is how much to spend. Ignoring, for a second, how much we have. Do we need to spend the same on each thing across each ward to make it a fair test? I.e. if we’re splitting £600 between leaflets and FB in ward 5, does that mean we shouldn’t spend the full £600 on FB in ward 3?



is there any elections in chester or north wales?

here is my e mail:

[Edited to remove email address]


Hi @Aledcanter1234!

There are elections for all County Councils in May but Cheshire, instead of a county council, has two unitary authorities; Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester.

There is a by-election for the Blacon ward on Cheshire West and Cheshire Council to take place on 20th April. If you live in the Blacon ward and are interested in standing, let us know!

If you pop your postcode into https://mapit.mysociety.org it’ll tell you your relevant local authorities.

By the way, i removed your email address from your message so as to avoid any unpleasant uses of it :slight_smile:

2017 Elections - Policy comms "strategy"
2017 Election Candidates


OK. We will still stand the candidates we are planning to, and I will launch the crowdfunder within the next 24 hours. We have 1 week to get in the nominations. I’ll run the crowdfunder for 2 weeks - after all it doesn’t cost us anything to stand in local elections, so we won’t lose out even if we don’t manage to hit the crowdfunding target. I’ll do it as a “pay anyway” deal, so we’ll get whatever pledge anyway.

I honestly don’t know what happened to March.


hi can you send me information about local welsh elections as well i would be lower Denbigh.

Thank you


please e mail me.