It’s early evening on a balmy summer’s day in Liscard. There is a group of people standing in the middle of the Cherry Tree car park, with clipboards, rucksacks, and a stack of leaflets to hand out. This is canvassing season in Liscard and birkenhead.news tagged along to see what it was all about.
Next Thursday, 22 July, is polling day in Liscard, following the resignation of the incumbent councillor, Sarah Spoor earlier this year. This means that the ward is one councillor short and this triggered the by-election that is taking place.
At the time, Sarah Spoor said, “I have been struggling to balance council duties with my family life and my employment. Combining work, family and caring responsibilities are not new to me, I have brought up five children and have always managed to maintain work/life balance, however, this year has been a difficult year for us all. More than ever, I appreciate that time is the most precious thing that we have or have to give.”
As if balancing work, home life and being a councillor wasn’t hard enough, councillors get grief online and on the phone, often regarding concerns that aren’t under their control. Balancing the books is just one of the hard things that any councillor from any party has to contend with. Over the last decade, Wirral Council’s funding has been cut by central government to the tune of £200m, leaving two basic options of cutting services, or increasing council tax. This is not an easy job.
So, who would want to be a councillor?
birkenhead.news spoke to Daisy Kenny who is the Labour candidate in the Liscard by-election and asked why she wanted to be a councillor in Wirral. She said, “I’ve always been interested in local community activism. The school I went to was quite poor and it really gave me a sense of how unfair life can be and how much of a bad start some people can be given in life.”
Daisy is one of those energetic kinds of people whose enthusiasm is plain to see and really is contagious. “I’ve always wanted to work hard and be in a position where I can give back to the community. Just helping out with day-to-day things to help improve people’s lives.”, she explained.
Daisy would like help source grants and funding for the regeneration of Liscard town centre, a place that is clearly close to her heart. Recalling her time as a youngster, just a few short years ago, she said that at the time there wasn’t much for kids to do to keep themselves occupied in and around Liscard. “I think Liscard needs more community centres, more leisure activities, particularly in Egremont.”
Daisy has a plan for her political career should she be elected on Thursday. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue my work for the community and build on the foundations that are already there.” Obviously, as with all the other candidates in the running, Daisy hopes to be elected on Thursday and the interview finished with her commenting: “I’d be honoured to be elected.” she said with a smile, “and would love to represent the people of Liscard for many years to come!”
Whatever the outcome on Thursday, we are sure to hear more from Daisy in the future.
So, to answer the question asked at the beginning of this article – who would want to be a councillor? – Well, the answer is people like Daisy who are keen to see their communities prosper. People who have a keen enthusiasm for what us an unforgiving job, and people who want to commit their all to the local communities around us.
The election for the Liscard ward will take place next Thursday, 22 July.
Following is a full list of Liscard candidates, in alphabetical order by surname.