Local election leaflets in Cornwall and what they are saying to voters

With just a few weeks to go until Cornwall goes to the polls in the local elections there has been a steady drip of leaflets on the doormat from those seeking your vote.

Candidates have been limited in the amount of canvassing they have been able to do in the last few months, only being permitted to knock on the doors of potential voters in the last few weeks.

As a result the number of leaflets being pushed through our letterboxes has probably increased as the candidates battle to ensure their election messages get in front of our eyes.

So, what do these leaflets say and where have they come from? This is the question Cornwall Live asked as we analyse the election leaflets being distributed ahead of polling day on May 6.

It is important to point out that Cornwall Live has only seen a small selection of leaflets which have been provided by friends, family, colleagues and by people on Twitter following an appeal by us.

Labour – Falmouth

Election leaflet for Labour in Falmouth
Election leaflet for Labour in Falmouth

First up is a leaflet from the Labour Party in Falmouth – with a high use of red it is clear which party it is for and at the bottom we can see it was printed in Penryn, always good to see support for local businesses.

The leaflet shows Labour candidates for both the Cornwall Council and Falmouth Town Council elections and show a good spread of gender equality. Of the Cornwall Council candidates there are three women and one man while the town council candidates include six women and four men.

Among the issues highlighted in the leaflet are housing, economic recovery, environmental issues, health and social care, cultural issues and crime – including an introduction to the party’s candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections.

The leaflet also has a map showing people which Cornwall Council division they live in – helpful with the new boundary arrangements.

And there is just one mention of a rival party: “Falmouth has suffered from Conservative planning laws….”

Liberal Democrats – Ludgvan, Madron, Gulval and Heamoor

Election leaflet for Lib Dem candidate Andrew George
Election leaflet for Lib Dem candidate Andrew George

Next we have a leaflet for Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew George, standing in Ludgvan, Madron, Gulval and Heamoor. Titled Cornish Voice it has been printed with a local firm in Penzance.

There is a graph on the front showing the 2019 general election vote in the St Ives constituency, won by the Conservatives, and a message “Only Andrew George can defeat the Conservatives here”.

Issues highlighted include affordable housing; campaign for a new hospital; planning issues; and a call for “all parties should work together in a coalition against Covid”.

There is also an item about “betrayed” fishermen in Cornwall – which raises the question about why there is no mention of women in the fishing industry.

Conservatives – St Austell Central and Gover

Leaflet for the Conservatives in St Austell Central and Gover
Leaflet for the Conservatives in St Austell Central and Gover

Over in St Austell Central and Gover Anne Double is standing for the Conservatives, and she has had her leaflet printed by a firm in Bristol.

MP Steve Double’s wife has three priorities – tackling anti-social behaviour; building back from Covid and value for money. In these she criticises the current Lib Dem/Independent administration at County Hall for raising council tax every year for the last eight years.

Inside the leaflet it reveals “our plan” for Mid Cornwall and states: “Cornwall Council has been under Lib Dem rule for the last eight years, propped up by ‘independent’ councillors.”

There is no indication why independent is in quote marks.

The “our plan” has six parts – build back stronger, actual value for money, homes for local people, a stronger Cornish economy, working with our communities, protect our environment. It also includes a pledge to close a Brussels office part funded by Cornwall Council.

The leaflet also has details of the Conservative PCC candidate and on the back has some quotes from Mrs Double’s supporters.

Labour – St Austell Central and Gover

Leaflet for the Labour Party in St Austell Central and Gover
Leaflet for the Labour Party in St Austell Central and Gover

Back to the Labour Party and this time a leaflet for St Austell Central and Gover candidate Felicity Owen.

This one has been printed in Leicestershire and is a residents’ survey asking for views on issues including anti-social behaviour, public transport, affordable housing, the eco-town, planning household waste, council tax precept for adult social care.

There is one mention of the Lib Dems and Conservatives stating “only Labour can beat the Conservatives in St Austell” along with a graph showing a red Labour line overtaking a yellow Lib Dem line with no data on the graph just some years.

The Cornwall councillor for the current Gover ward is actually an Independent.

Liberal Democrats – Ludgvan, Madron, Gulval and Heamoor

Election leaflet for Lib Dem candidate Andrew George
Election leaflet for Lib Dem candidate Andrew George

Andrew George has also put out another glossy leaflet to support his campaign to be elected for the Lib Dems.

This one has also been printed in Penzance and has a kind of ‘reverse psychology’ feel as it states: “Don’t vote for me…”

Of course it then goes on to say: “Andrew GEORGE asks you not to vote for him…if you want a representative who’s (sic) party…” and lists things like “Cut Cornwall Council’s core grant in half” and finishes “…if you want this, then vote Conservative”.

It then lists what he hopes to do “Fight for Cornwall’s best interests; seeks out the silent voices and fights for the under dog (sic)…” etc.

This leaflet again recycles the 2019 general election graphic from the other brochure and also has a list of what the current Lib Dem/Independent Cornwall Council has delivered.

Conservative – Gloweth, Malabar, Shortlanesend

In Truro Conservative candidate David Harris (Gloweth, Malabar, Shortlanesend) has a leaflet in the familiar blue of his party which has been printed in Redruth.

In a similar way to Anne Double’s leaflet it sets out “my plan” which includes – Your strong voice in County Hall, better value for money, campaigning against housing on green fields; supporting our children and young people; protecting and improving the environment; helping the community recover from Covid-19.

On the back of the leaflet it sets out: “Your choice at this election” and states a Conservative run council will be “taking back control of Cornwall; spending your money wisely and delivering for Cornwall. It states that a Liberal Democrat run council would increase council tax and waste money.

Labour – Truro

Election leaflet for Labour in Truro
Election leaflet for Labour in Truro

We have another Labour Party one – this time for the Truro area which has on the front “Let’s Make Truro E.P.I.C.” The E.P.I.C stands for – Environment Planning Investment Community.

Inside it explains how Labour wants to make the city “green and prosperous” and that the party wants a development boundary to “stop further urban spread and further destruction of our precious countryside”.

On investment the leaflet explains that Labour in Truro wants to deliver the Towns Deal and says that it “is time the future of Truro was put into the hands of its residents and businesses” and says there should be no more “top-down mega schemes”.

The back of the leaflet, which was printed in Penryn, introduces Labour candidates standing in Truro for Cornwall Council and Truro City Council.

Green Party – St Ives & Towednack

Green Party election leaflet for St Ives and Towednack
Green Party election leaflet for St Ives and Towednack

Finally we have a leaflet for Green Party candidate Lisa Arthur standing in St Ives & Towednack.

She says she will be “putting St Ives first” and says she is passionate about the natural environment. However she is keen to highlight that the Green Party is also concerned about employment, housing and “poor local services”.

The leaflet has a graphic at the bottom showing coloured bicycles representing political parties and headed with “It’s Green or Conservatives here!” It states this is based on the results of the 2017 general election in St Ives.

On the back of the leaflet it is headed: “Lisa will press for a local tax on second homes.”

And there is another colourful graphic showing rosettes for the Conservatives, Green, Lib Dems and Labour and stating “Lisa can win here.”

Buried at the bottom in tiny print we can see that the leaflet was printed in Bolton which some might argue is not particularly environmentally friendly.

Cornwall Council infographic showing how council taxpayers' money is spent in Cornwall (Image: BBC/LDRS)
Cornwall Council infographic showing how council taxpayers’ money is spent in Cornwall (Image: BBC/LDRS)

As stated at the beginning this is by no means an exhaustive list of local election leaflets and literature, merely a snapshot of those we have managed to see.

If you have any you would like to share then please email them to richard.whitehouse@reachplc.com or send them via Twitter to @rwhitehouse13

Cornwall Live