Community Action Party

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Community Action Party
Leader Michael Moulding
Chairman Bill Burrows
Treasurer Tracy Lavelle
Founded March 2002
Headquarters Golborne, Greater Manchester, England
Ideology Environmentalism, Localism (politics)
Website
www.community-action.com

The Community Action Party is a minor political party in the United Kingdom, mostly active in Greater Manchester and Merseyside. It advocates free health care and education provision, a managed public transport infrastructure free to all at the point of use and a moratorium on the use of green belt land for building. It also supports a zero tolerance policy toward crime, and is against the introduction of identity cards and recent anti-terrorist legislation on civil liberties grounds.

In 2004 the party made a breakthrough in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, winning 18 seats, a gain of 13. The party has since suffered a split, defections, and a loss of councillors in elections, reducing their number of councillors in Wigan Borough to five.[1] They have slowly expanded outside the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan into the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens,[2] the City of Salford, where they gained a seat in 2008, and Warrington Borough.

Founding[edit]

The party was founded in March 2002 by Peter Franzen, a construction industry professional originally from Liverpool and now living in Golborne. The candidates stood on a platform of zero tolerance of crime and improved facilities for young people.[3] Community Action councillors have a free vote on any issue as the party does not impose a whip,[4] and includes former supporters of all three main parties.[3]

Electoral history[edit]

Further information: Wigan local elections

The party put up candidates in four constituencies in the 2005 general election. It does not have any representation in the House of Commons, but has a number of councillors in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester. In 2004 it made a large break through in Wigan Borough winning 18 seats, a gain of 13. They formed the official opposition group, the 'Democratic Alliance', with their ten councillors joining the Liberal Democrats' three in May 2007,[5] but the grouping disbanded in July 2009.[6] They supported the Green Party in the North-West region in the 2009 European elections.[7]

2002 local election[edit]

In their first election, the CAP stood five candidates in Wigan Borough elections and returned two councillors, both in Makerfield constituency, Franzen unseating the deputy leader of the council.[4][3]

2003 local election[edit]

The party stood 11 candidates in Wigan Borough,[4] and took three seats from Labour, becoming the largest opposition party with five councillors.[8]

2004 local election[edit]

The party stood 48 candidates in Wigan Borough, winning a total of 18 seats in Makerfield Constituency and becoming the official opposition on the council.[4][3][9][10] After the election the Labour leader of the council Peter Smith argued that "They are essentially a negative party, good at coming up with issues to campaign on, but not very good at finding solutions."[11]

2005 general election[edit]

Franzen stood in Makerfield against Ian McCartney, deputy chairman of the Labour Party,[3] and the party stood three other candidates. Franzen received 2,769 votes (7.8%).[12] Ian Franzen stood in Leigh, receiving 2,189 votes (6.0%).[13] Former Labour council leader Mike Hughes received 573 votes in Warrington North (1.4%).[14]

2006 local election[edit]

The CAP lost three seats in Makerfield to Labour.[15]

2007 local election[edit]

The party held two seats and gained one from Community Performance First, but lost two seats to Labour.[16][17] They stood four candidates in St. Helens,[18] and two in Salford.[19]

2008 local election[edit]

The party held two seats in Makerfield, but lost Peter Franzen's seat in Golbourne and Lowton West to Labour by 76 votes,[20] and another seat to the Conservatives,[21][22] resulting in their Democratic Alliance group losing its status as the official opposition group.[23] The Labour Party made a complaint to the police about a YouTube video posted by one of the CAP councillors, Ed Houlton, about a former Labour mayor the day before the May elections,[24] but no charges were brought.[25]

In Salford's Irlam ward, their candidate Rick Houlton unseated Roger Jones, the Labour chairman of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority. The CAP opposed the congestion charge for Manchester that was proposed by Jones.[26][27] Peel Holdings, a Manchester property company, commissioned a market research company to call people in Irlam ward about the congestion charge plan in November 2007. In January 2008, Peel met with the Liberal Democrats and Community Action Party to discuss how they could help them defeat councillors who were backing the congestion charge.[28] A police investigation was launched over a possible breach of the Representation of the People Act 1983, but the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence.[29] Houlton was criticised for his low council meeting attendance, which he said was due to working nights.[30]

Split and defections[edit]

The Community Performance First Party was registered with the Electoral Commission in 2006 by three CAP councillors ahead of the local elections, who said that they would still stand as CAP candidates.[31][32] They were expelled from the party in April 2006, less than a month before the local elections, and the CAP took legal action to prevent them using the CAP logo.[33][34]

An Ashton in Makerfield councillor defected to the independent group in May 2007,[5] followed by a Winstanley councillor in May 2008.[35] A Leigh councillor defected to the Conservative Party in January 2009, which made the Conservatives the official opposition group on Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council.[36] A further defection to the independent group occurred in May 2009.[37]

On 7 February 2014 it was announced that Mike Moulding had reregistered the political party. This was after the founder and leader of the party, Peter Franzen, had lapsed the party the previous year. Since then the founder and the new leader have been in a battle over the rights of the name.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Councillor Details". Wigan Council. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ex-leader in vote expenses probe". BBC News. 28 June 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Whitworth, Damien (2 May 2005). "Westminster? That's the last place I want to go". The Times. London. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d MacNamara, Helen (23 June 2004). "Pier pressure". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "All change at council with new alliance". Wigan Today. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Bean, Richard (15 July 2009). "Council opposition party disbands". Wigan Evening Post. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Community Action Party backs Peter". Stop Nick Griffin. Green Party. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Frame, Don (2 May 2003). "Wigan". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Frame, Don (11 June 2004). "Fortress Labour rocked by Wigan minnows". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "Labour licks wounds after polls". BBC News. 11 June 2004. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  11. ^ Fordham, Elizabeth (18 June 2004). "The rise and rise of minor parties". Politics Show North West. BBC. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  12. ^ Whitworth, Damien (7 May 2005). "What happened to the local heroes who fought the toughest of battles?". The Times. London. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "Ian Franzen". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Result: Warrington North". BBC News. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  15. ^ Frame, Don (5 May 2006). "Election 2006: Wigan - Lab hold". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "2007 Election results in Wigan". Manchester Evening News. May 2007. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  17. ^ "Labour make gains in Wigan". Manchester Evening News. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  18. ^ "Election results in full". St. Helens Reporter. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  19. ^ "2007 Election results in Salford". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  20. ^ "Franzen out". Wigan Evening Post. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  21. ^ "Election results in Wigan". Manchester Evening News. 1 May 2008. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  22. ^ Frame, Don (2 May 2008). "Labour hold on to Wigan". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  23. ^ Bean, Richard (2 May 2008). "Big names fall in local elections". Wigan Evening Post. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  24. ^ Keeling, Neal (8 September 2008). "Police probe web 'slur'". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  25. ^ "No case against CAP councillor". Salford Advertiser. 11 December 2008. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  26. ^ Webster, Ben (6 May 2008). "Manchester polls deal blow to congestion charge expansion". The Times. London. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  27. ^ Keeling, Neal (2 May 2008). "Setbacks for Labour in Salford". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  28. ^ Keeling, Neal (11 July 2008). "Police probe Peel over election". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  29. ^ Keeling, Neal (10 February 2009). "No action over Peel ballot claim". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  30. ^ Keeling, Neal (15 October 2008). "CAP councillor's attendance row". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  31. ^ Wainwright, Martin (6 April 2006). "Where sheep now safely graze". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  32. ^ "Councillors form new party". Wigan Today. 4 April 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  33. ^ "CAP rebels fight bid to oust them". Wigan Today. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  34. ^ "CAP expels rival councillors". Wigan Today. 7 April 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  35. ^ Bean, Richard (9 May 2008). "Bryn councillor defects to Independant [sic] group". Wigan Evening Post. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  36. ^ Bean, Richard (15 January 2009). "Tory joy as councillor switches allegiance". Wigan Today. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  37. ^ Bean, Richard (13 May 2009). "Councillor defects". Wigan Today. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  38. ^ http://www.wigantoday.net/news/local/party-is-relaunched-as-leader-vows-to-return-1-6424961