SUNDERLAND’S Conservative group are on the lookout for new members.
Group leader Lee Martin is hoping people sign up to the party and stand in the next ward elections.
He said: “Turnout in Sunderland council elections barely touches 40 per cent in the marginal wards, and that is largely down to the postal vote.
“Too few people turn out to vote, and too few come forward to run for council. Unless that changes, Sunderland won’t change.
“Over the last four years we have lost 14 seats on council, as making the difficult decisions in Government has cost us support.
“This year was the first year since 2008 where we didn’t have any net losses.”
Six out of eight Conservative councillors are in their 70s and just two of them are women. None of them are from an ethnic minority background.
Mr Martin wants to change that. He said: “We are making a deliberate attempt to reach out and to bring new people in. We are trying to find new blood and more diversity.
“You will need to join the Conserrvative Party and be vetted to be added to our approved list of candidates.”
The Tories plan to allow people to pick their candidate in at least one of their main target wards of St Peter’s, St Chad’s and Barnes. The group will also be trying to retake seats in Washington, Ryhope and Doxford.
Mr Martin added: “You will need to do some pavement politics and door stepping to get elected.
“Then, when you are elected, you will have council meetings, ward casework and a community leadership role.”
Anyone interested in joining is asked to contact Lee by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org.