The Labour party is hoping to make a comeback in North East Lincolnshire Council’s local elections as residents struggle with the cost of living.
The largest opposition group is running on the message that Conservatives are failing locally and nationally. They are hoping to regain some seats after a series of disappointing losses for the party.
Former cabinet members are returning to fight seats along with new, younger faces. Previous deputy leader Dave Watson and ex-councillor Sheldon Mill are among those who will be on the ballots again.
The local elections will take place on Thursday, May 5. All wards will elect one councillor, with an additional by-election taking place in the East Marsh.
Labour leader Councillor Matthew Patrick said: “I’ve been having conversations with a lot of residents and a lot of people are coming back to Labour. We have a lot of work to do yet, but I am confident that we are winning the argument and getting our voters back.
“First and foremost, people are worried about the cost of living crisis. We’ve got a billionaire chancellor in London who doesn’t relate to what’s happening to us, and we’ve got a council which has turned its back on ordinary residents and don’t want to hear the challenges they’re facing in their everyday lives.
“There needs to be a strong voice for those residents. People need a strong voice in the council chamber, and they can count on Labour to speak up against the Tories.”
Councillor Tim Mickleburgh is the only current Labour member who is up for re-election in the 2022 cycle. He has represented South ward since 2014, and believes voters will be receptive to Labour’s message in May.
“I feel we will do a lot better than last time. The cost of living crisis and rising council tax means that people are turning against the Tories in control,” he said.
“If wages are rising 3% and all the costs are going up 10%, people will feel it. Many people aren’t well off around here.
“We want to add enough seats to be able to challenge the council on what they’re doing.”
Former Councillor Dave Watson, who served as acting council leader for a several weeks in the previous administration, will be standing in Immingham. He will be hoping to return to the council after being defeated in last year’s local elections.
“I have a feeling we will quite well this year. The government is not doing well, and people are looking for someone visible and well-known to represent them locally – I have served on the town council since 2000,” he said.
“Immingham often gets forgotten about compared to Grimsby and Cleethorpes. Residents want to make our voice heard and balance that out, which I will do.”
Quibs Brown is standing for the fourth time at the age of 22. Quibs is the only Labour & Co-operative candidate on the ballot, and will be contesting Park ward.
“I am feeling very hopeful and looking forward to a promising campaign. I have stood in 2018, 2019 and 2021, and this is the most hopeful I have been. This is the year we will put the Conservatives on notice,” they said.
The full list of candidates standing in each ward will be published on Wednesday evening. Visit the council website for information on registering to vote and your local polling place.