iFAQ: Brexit and the local elections

With local elections rapidly approaching, but the country still discussing little other than Brexit, we decided to ask all councillors standing for re-election what impact Brexit was likely to have on the elections and their campaigns.

As usual, we told all of them that we would publish their responses unedited. You can find them below in the order they were received.

What impact do you think Brexit with have on our local elections in Medway?

I have found that although people in Medway are frustrated with the national picture it has been possible to focus minds more on the importance of getting things right locally.I have had some good and sincere conversations about our manifesto and been able to reassure people that whatever comes a Labour Medway Council would work hard to maximise new opportunities and protect Medway from any damaging changes.I don’t feel disadvantaged, more that a new angle on local politics has opened up.
Cllr Teresa Murray, Labour, Rochester East

I think many people will protest by not voting. Very difficult to judge how that will affect the outcome. I gave up predicting election outcomes when Donald Trump was elected.
Cllr Stuart Tranter, Conservative, Rochester West

The majority of conversations on the doorstep are about local issues, particularly around the need for positive change in council administration, including from former conservative voters.  That said Brexit is coming up in some conversations and most of those people are putting the blame for lack of progress squarely at the feet of Theresa May.
Cllr Vince Maple, Labour, Chatham Central

Do you feel the position of your party on Brexit is helping or hindering your local election campaign?

I am not saying it will be easy but want to be positive.I think Labour being invited into negotiations is a good thing as lots of residents have said all parties should work together and I believe that is because a sense of unity and common purpose is desirable.However if Theresa May continues too just try and push her own views instead if compromising it will fail.
Cllr Teresa Murray, Labour, Rochester East

Both main parties have internal differences of opinion, (reflecting pretty much the entire country) so the overall party positions lack clarity. This has not helped local elections at all. All we can do locally is to do our best to explain our local achievements and policies, and encourage people to judge local candidates based on local issues.
Cllr Stuart Tranter, Conservative, Rochester West

The Labour Party position, agreed democratically by our party conference, is clear on the approach our party would take.  We have entered into cross party talks to see if the two main parties can find any common ground to attempt to find a parliamentary majority.  Our 2017 election manifesto was clear that we respected the decision of the 2016 referendum.
Cllr Vince Maple, Labour, Chatham Central

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