A total of 503 Labour/Co-op candidates are standing for this year’s local elections across England – up 123% from when these seats were last contested in 2015.
The Co-op Party has candidates in 149 councils out of 248 (60%), with another 28 town/parishes, one metro mayor – Jamie Driscoll in North Tyneside – and one mayoral candidate – Jenni Jackson in Bedford.
Around 41% of Labour/Co-op candidates are women, with the youngest candidate aged 18 and the oldest 86.
In the run-up to the local elections, on 2 May, some local groups have published manifestos that mention co-operative policies.
This month, the Labour/Co-op group on the West Oxfordshire District Council released a manifesto that includes measures to strengthen communities through implementing co-operative values. The manifesto suggests ending food poverty in West Oxfordshire by exploring schemes to end school holiday hunger, supporting food banks, promoting community growing projects and co-operative allotments. It also pledges to end transport inequality by promoting and expanding community transport and support new co-operative and community-led housing schemes.
Similarly, Medway candidates seek to introduce a publicly run, not-for-profit bus operator in Medway that meets the needs of passengers.
In Swindon, Labour/Co-op candidates aim to prioritise local businesses when spending public money in the private sector, boosting local jobs, following a model already used in Preston.
And in Bedford, mayoral candidate Jenni Jackson has unveiled manifesto which includes measures for co-operative development, tackling modern slavery and supporting credit unions.
Emma Hoddinott, local government officer at the Co-op Party said: “It’s great to see a growing number of candidates standing as Labour & Co-operative, putting our values into their local campaigns and manifestos – from breakfast clubs that tackle food justice in North Warwickshire to establishing work co-ops in Preston to reforming buses in Medway to meet the needs of passengers.”