THE FIRST 183 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates for May's local elections have been agreed by the TUSC national steering committee at its meeting last Wednesday.
The candidates cover 43 of the 160 English councils with elections on May 22nd.
In addition three mayoral candidates - Chris Flood, Lois Austin and Hugo Pierre - were agreed for contests being held on the same day for, respectively, the mayors of Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets.
Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent, told the meeting that "with eight weeks left until nominations close TUSC is well on course to have the biggest trade union and socialist based left-of-Labour challenge in local elections since the immediate aftermath of world war two.
"However, while some local TUSC groups are holding back their candidate application forms until details of wards being contested - or who will be the local agents - are sorted out, it's vital that these issues are resolved and applications sent in as soon as possible. The lists won't close until official nominations do - on April 24th - so new candidates coming forward can always be added. But we need as much information as possible now.
"During March the BBC, on behalf of all broadcasting authorities, will be preparing its local elections coverage guidelines. To guarantee receiving what they call 'balanced media coverage', previously parties have needed to contest 15% of the seats up for election - 625 this time.
"The TUSC national steering committee needs a clear idea of candidate numbers as soon as possible so that we can then enter into negotiations with the BBC".
To apply to be a TUSC local election candidate in 2014, complete the council candidate authorisation application form available on the Candidates page of the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php