Mayoral election: 'I can't afford to reach out to all 800,000 voters'

AS a candidate for the new role of York & North Yorkshire Mayor, I have lost count of the number of times people have said that they are unaware of the election. This is a huge concern for local democracy.

The reality in elections is that the richest party is likely to get the lion’s share of the coverage.

There are 800,000 people in the area covered by this election – I can't afford to reach out to everyone, and those that haven't heard from me might assume I could but just can't be bothered. This doesn't reflect well on politics.

At the same time, there is inconsistency and negativity surrounding politics. Some town councils have allowed me to set up a stall on market days.

Other town councils have refused to take a booking from me for a stall citing the need to avoid politics altogether.

Surely it should be an obligation on the council to support the political process? At £10 for a site at a market stall, every politician could afford to be present and engage with residents - this is what they need to see.

As it is, those that can afford glossy leaflets and lavish videos might be the only ones that get seen. Extraordinary pledges also secure headlines, despite them being entirely impossible to realise in the way the hype suggests.

I truly hope that on May 2, people vote for a candidate based on their merits and strengths, not just the one who was able to shout loudest during the campaign.

Felicity Cunliffe-Lister,

LibDem Candidate for York & North Yorkshire Mayor