UKIP runs training academy in Horwich for prospective councillors
A UKIP training academy for aspiring councillors has been hailed a success by its organiser — and could be rolled out nationally.
Peter McGeehan, who is standing for election in Harper Green, organised the pilot masterclass to give aspiring politicians the inside track on what life is like on Bolton Council.
The sweet shop owner is a former Mayor of Horwich, was a Horwich town councillor for 12 years and also spent four years on Bolton Council representing Horwich North East while he was a member of the Liberal Democrats.
The 10 trainees undertook two hours of lessons for six weeks, including attending Bolton Council and Horwich Town Council meetings, before they received their certificates of completion from European Parliament candidate, Louise Bours, last week.
During a visit to Bolton she said: “Peter is a fantastic asset to UKIP. He has come up with this training programme for 10 people, who are all local people and standing in the local elections.
“It was showing them the mechanics of local government — so they are really well informed about the council and how it works. His programme is something we are looking to copy across the country.”
Mr McGeehan said he was delighted that UKIP was thinking of adopting his programme nationally.
He said: “The programme goes through every aspect of being a candidate — all about how to campaign, to how to keep a good relationship with the media, through to how to be cabinet member.
“We are looking at doing a similar course on UKIP policies, and also going to do a training course for prospective MPs.
“I’m quite pleased with how it has gone — it’s a pilot scheme so I am collecting feedback to see if there’s anything we can improve on.”
- There are five people standing in the Harper Green by-election on December 19.
It has been called following the death of Cllr Margaret Clare in October. She had represented the ward for more than 20 years.
Peter McGeehan, aged 65, is standing for UKIP; Wendy Connor, a grandmother of five, will stand for the Liberal Democrats; Science teacher Robert Tyler is standing for the Conservatives and lives in Caldeck Drive in the ward; Asha Ali Ismail, aged 33, will stand for Labour, having previously stood to be a councillor in Bradshaw in 2012 and The Green Party candidate is Kathryn Sykes, aged 49, who lives in Parkfield Road, Great Lever.
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