A NEWLY-formed political branch of the Green Party for the Kendal area is fielding a full slate of candidates in the local elections next month.

The Kendal Green Party was only established around six months ago but says membership is growing and it has been able to put a Green candidate into all 17 wards.

On May 22, a third of the seats on South Lakeland District Council are up for election, while every place on Kendal Town Council is also up for election.

The current political balance of SLDC, which is controlled by the Liberal Democrats, is 33 Lib Dems, 14 Conservatives, three Labour party members and 1 Independent. 

The SLDC election involves four of the seven high-ranking Lib Dem Cabinet who will recontest their seats - Coun Giles Archibald, Coun Graham Vincent, Coun Jonathan Brook and Coun David Evans.

Council leader Peter Thornton and Cllr Sue Sanderson, the portfolio holder for Environment and People, are not up for election on this occasion.

Gwen Harrison, of the Kendal Green Party, explained that it had a long-established sister branch in Ulverston and the Kendal party was set up late last year.

Explaining the reasons, she said: "I think people are getting fed up with the three main political parties and want something a bit different as they now realise there's not a great deal of difference between them any more."

The party says it has seen an 'incredible four fold increase' in local members and supporters in just two months.

Ms Harrison, standing in Kendal Fell, said: "I’ve been out canvassing and am struck by how keen people are on a new perspective on critical issues such as the growing inequality between rich and poor, and tackling climate change.

"The Green Party can bring fresh ideas and new voices into SLDC and will give the South Lakes community more choice when they go to vote."

The European elections will also see Peter Cranie stand as the Green Party’s candidate.

Residents are urged to check that they are registered to vote - if not, applications to register must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at South Lakeland House in Kendal by Tuesday May 6.

The deadline for new postal votes applications is Wednesday May 7 and for proxy votes it’s May 14.

You can find out more about the elections by visiting SLDC's website at http://www.southlakeland.gov.uk/elections-and-voting/electoral-services/elections2014/

Next Monday (April 28), a European election hustings event takes place, hosted by World Development Movement (WDM) and South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC). 

The event happens at 7pm for 7.30pm at The Shakespeare Centre, Yard 76 Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4HE (behind the Shakespeare Inn)

MEP candidates attending are:
• Conservative: Kevin Beatty
• Green Party: Peter Cranie
• Labour: Julie Ward
• Lib Dems: Chris Davies

Issues being focussed on include:
• Trade justice
• Free trade deals (e.g. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP))
• Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)
• Food sovereignty
• Food speculation
• Social equality & living wage
• Climate change
• Tax justice – tax havens