Published: December 9, 2012
Labour picks its candidate for Highbridge and Burnham by-election

Labour has announced its candidate for January's district council by-election in the Highbridge and Burnham Marine ward following the resignation of Joe Leach.

As first reported by here, Lib Dem Joe Leach has stepped down due to work commitments, prompting the by-election on January 24th.

The Labour Party has announced that Ricky Holcombe, who lives in Burnham, will stand as its candidate.

Mr Holcombe has been a trade unionist and a member of the Labour Party for more than 30 years. He said: "I left school at 16 and started work as a coal miner and took part in the 1984/85 miners' strike. I witnessed first hand what a Conservative government did to communities of decent, hard-working people."

He claims: "Amazingly we have gone back in time 25 years in 18 months to be faced with cuts to services, privatisation and commissioning of the NHS, attacks on pensions, the transformation and masked privatisation of the education system, the highest unemployment ever and the biggest onslaught on welfare and employment rights that this country has seen."

Mr Holcombe added that he believes Highbridge has been "let down" by the Liberal Democrats and needs Labour representation.
"If you vote Conservative, at least you know what you’re going to get. The Liberal Democrats have betrayed the voters of Highbridge by supporting a government which looks after the rich. As a committed Labour Party member I say 'enough is enough', the betrayal of the country by the Liberal Democrats, hiding behind the coat-tails of the Conservatives, must be stopped if we are to salvage anything that this country takes pride in."

Secretary of the Sedgemoor District Labour Group, Cllr Brian Smedley, added: "The Lib Dems have been wiped out in Bridgwater and now with the resignation of their leader they have one solitary councillor left on Sedgemoor. Their erratic attendance at meetings already is letting down their voters badly and clearly Highbridge would benefit from electing a Labour councillor as we are the only serious opposition group confronting Tory-led Sedgemoor Council."

Nominations for January's by-election are open until mid-day on December 27th.

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