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June 15, 2011

Community candidates for council elections

Relations between West Dunbartonshire Council and the community of Renton have never been easy  – at times there has been outright hostility.  Although the situation is now much improved, the community have been wondering why things were allowed to deteriorate so badly and what can be done to stop it happening again. Making sure their elected representatives in the Council are on their side would be a start.  Community candidates are being mustered for next year’s Council elections

The idea that some local people from Renton might put up candidates to fight the next Council elections has been partly inspired by the success of the Community Action Party.

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 to five. They have slowly expanded outside of Wigan into Metropolitan Borough of St Helens, the City of Salford, where they gained a seat in 2008, and Warrington.


The party was founded in 2002 by Peter Franzen, a former surveyor and antiques shop owner from Golborne, previously a Labour Party voter. The candidates stood on a platform of zero tolerance of crime and improved facilities for young people. Community Action councillors have a free vote on any issue as the party does not impose a whip, and include former supporters of all three main parties.

“We didn’t want to stand as independents because that has no clout, so we decided to call ourselves the Community Action Party.” Peter Franzen, founder

For more information on the Community Action Party click here