are focusing in Coventry on getting Rob Windsor (pictured left)
re-elected and regaining our third seat on the council, writes Lindsay
Defending our public positions is important because of the voice it
can give to our party and our ideas.
We are also standing candidates in four other wards, building our
base of support across the city.
We work all year round on behalf of the residents of St Michaels
ward, which means that when we canvass local residents are already aware
of our party and our candidates and so feel confident to vote for us.
In the past year, we have supported disabled residents whose homes
are threatened with demolition. Socialist Party members took a petition
around the neighbours and managed to get almost 600 signatures. One of
the tenants, thanking us for our support, said he had no idea that so
many local residents backed their position.
We have also campaigned to retain green space and play facilities in
the ward and have continued to build support by getting local residents
involved in the campaigns.
Councillors Dave Nellist and Karen McKay have fought hard for the
interests of local residents when resisting planning applications for
large developments and have gained many improvements in terms of
parking, green space and accessibility.
Our involvement in campaigning on NHS cuts and privatisation has also
gained much support across the city. A recent public meeting attracted
over 70 people, including many health workers. While canvassing, we are
able to raise these issues and invite people to become more involved.
While we have a strong base of support for our ideas within St
Michaels ward we have to fight continually to maintain our position. The
population of the ward is not the same as when Dave Nellist first won
his seat in 1998. The original working-class population is disappearing,
partly due to the demolition of social housing which is being replaced
with expensive private developments, and there are a large number of
students, asylum seekers and migrant workers moving in and out of the
However, when we speak to people who are new to the area and to the
ideas of the Socialist Party, we find they support our ideas and so find
it easier to support us than New Labour.
The canvassing we have done so far shows that we have a realistic
chance of winning the seat back to ensure that St Michaels ward once
again has three socialist councillors fighting and speaking up for