Pigeon Mess. (Local Elections)

By Livingstone, Sophie | New Statesman (1996), May 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

Pigeon Mess. (Local Elections)


Livingstone, Sophie, New Statesman (1996)


Handing out flyers about pigeon mess outside a railway station on a cold night in February is not exactly my idea of fun. However, as a Labour candidate in Wandsworth, south London, which the Tories still hail as their flagship council, I have no room for complacency. Dragging myself out of bed on a Sunday morning, I regularly question the sanity of my actions. I am 25 years old: do I really want to spend a day knocking on strangers' doors?

And yet I have found that so many people are genuinely concerned with local issues -- safer streets, crime, local transport and improved schools (and the pigeon mess problem under Earlsfield Bridge).

Despite the variety of people who are interested in local issues, local politics is driven by the usual suspects. The latest census of councillors, published by the Improvement and Development Agency and the Employers' Organisation, showed that councils were still dominated by middle-aged or retired white men. …

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