Green Party Win First Prescot Town Council Seat
Joanne Burke unseated Labour and won Prescot East for the Green Party in last Thursday’s town council by-election (9 February).
Voter turnout in the ward was a low 27 percent – although turnouts in the borough have always been low – but Burke pulled off a convincing victory, with 270 votes, or 44.9 percent of the total.
Her closest rival was Liberal Democrat Rachel Roberts, with 211. Labour candidate Alishia Fitzsimmons came in third, with 138 votes, less than 20 percent.
This marks a drop of over 50 percent for local Labour, while the Lib Dems saw their share rise by just over six percent. The newly elected councillor is the first Green to be elected to any council in Knowsley, and she is the only non-Labour member on the town council.
Among her election pledges were a promise to fight for free parking in the town centre and oppose building on Prescot’s former greenbelt.
Two more Prescot Town Council by-elections are due to be called shortly, following the resignations of Cllrs Denise Allen and Matthew Allen.
Some facts about Prescot Town Council
- Town councillors serve voluntarily, receiving neither a salary nor expenses
- The town council’s role includes distributing money to community and charitable causes, investing relatively small sums in the town, and championing the town’s interests before larger bodies and agencies
- The town council is different from Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, whose members are paid and have more influence over large-scale decisions
- The council is based at Prescot Town Hall on Warrington Road. See the website here
Pictured: Cllr Jo Burke with national Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, MP