Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Oldham East and Saddleworth By-Election: Councillor Chris Cassidy

Googling UKIP and the Oldham East by-election I came across an internet diary about UKIP's campaign by a man claiming to be UKIP's youngest councillor. Looking at his picture he probably is, by quite a few decades. So I had a read.

His article was attacking the Lib Dems for making misleading statements, a common complaint about most politicians I would have thought. So this led me to delve  little further into this shining light of democracy, Councillor Chris Cassidy. When was he elected? What proportion of the vote did he get?  What ward on which council does he represent? So many questions.

I discovered that he is actually a councillor on Ringway Parish Council, the only civil parish within the jurisdiction of Manchester City Council.

OK, so when was he elected? There hasn't actually been an election to Ringway Parish Council for some years. Even though UKIP trumpet 'the election of their new councillor' on their website, Mr Cassidy has never actually been elected. They should have trumpeted 'newly co-opted Councillor Chris Cassidy'.  You see there weren't enough interested people for an election to be held.

 But how many electors will Councillor Cassidy be working on behalf of? Well, the total population is 106. The electorate is currently 88. So each of five councillors theoretically has responsibility for 17.6 voters or 21.2 people including those not on the electoral register. Most of the area of Ringway Parish Council is aircraft hangars belonging to Manchester Airport. 

A UKIP councillor such as this, writing an article about the Lib Dems misleading the electorate, does seem a little hypocritical under the circumstances.

If you are interested, UKIP in the north west only have three councillors according to their website. One is a borough councillor who defected from the Tories, one is Councillor Chris, the third is also a parish councillor. Not sure if the other parish councillor has ever been elected, but assuming he has, only one in three actually being elected as a UKIP candidate is also a tad misleading I would have said.

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