Elections, for political activists, are an ever-present part of our lives. If it is not a General Election or the local elections that happen three in four years, we have by-elections, mayoral elections and even the odd referendum to keep us occupied.
The Leigh West ward is having a by-election today, as I write this article, and the result will be known by the time of publication. Campaign teams and volunteers have been out and about to support their party’s candidate who has, in turn, likely been busy on the campaign trail and promoting their agenda.
By-elections often occur because of a sad event but democracy needs representatives, and it is a huge credit to all those who take part especially now that the weather has become rather autumnal. I was out at 6am this morning delivering some last-minute literature for the Conservative candidate, James Geddes, whilst trying not to wake anyone up.
These one-off elections also allow bigger names to make an appearance, so it was a delight to see Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner MP, join the campaign trail and bring a somewhat wider interest to proceedings.
The count will be immediately after the close of polls so it will top off a long day for many of the campaigners and the candidates.
Volunteers really do power our local political parties but so many give so much in all areas of our community life. This was way it was such a delight to visit the Leigh Ornithological Society to mark their fiftieth anniversary and see the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester present the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the chairman, David Shallcross.
It is a real credit to all the members of the Society to receive the award and the importance to the local community was abundantly clear by the large number of people who attended the event and exhibition. They even had a powerful and dangerous looking Goshawk and a smaller tawny owl as part of the live display.
Turning to a different exhibition, the Conservative Party Conference was a rather uplifting event, and it was a relief to see that it was just like it used to be. There were no special measures to deal with the coronavirus and everyone was just delighted to catch up with friends again.
The more hawk-eyed observers may have notice that the Prime Minister’s speech was not laden with new policy ideas. Whilst it was received with rapturous applause, I am focussed on the Chancellor delivering his joint Spending Review and Budget in a couple of weeks’ time. This is where we need to hear details of what the Prime Minister’s levelling up agenda will mean in practice and how it is going to improve our lives for the better.