Preston local elections 2024 digest: Preston Labour’s ‘London’ video and Guild Hall comeback gig

Posted on - 21st April, 2024 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - Opinion, Politics, Preston News
Looking up at the foyer of the Guild Hall venue Pic: Blog Preston

This week’s local elections digest includes some geographical hypocrisy, some election admin from the city council and confirmation on the first gig at the Guild Hall since the city’s Labour administration ‘took place control’.

Here’s a digest of some stories and snippets relating to the local elections for Preston City Council and we produce this each Sunday morning.

If you spot something, in real life, through your letterbox, or on socials about the local elections in Preston and think we should include it then drop it to

Read more: Preston City Council local elections 2024 candidates list set out

Political gigging at the Guild Hall

When the RAAC was confirmed in the Guild Hall roof in January – as revealed by Blog Preston – we were promised the foyer area might be a temporary venue.

Previously playing host to White Lies and more back when the venue was operational in 2018-19, as LiVe, seeing the ballot papers being stacked up for the Lea and Larches ward probably wasn’t what the city council’s events department had pencilled in for the first gig on the venue poster.

Town Hall sources have confirmed the foyer area is to be the venue for this year’s election count during Friday 3 May and this area is safe from the dreaded crumbly concrete. It’s a daytime count too. No Haribo, fizzy pop and powder coffee to keep the eyes open when Sharoe Green is on its fourth recount this year.

Rumours we’ll all have to listen to Martyn Rawlinson breaking out ‘we’ll keep the red flag flying here’ on his ukulele post-count if he is re-elected are yet to be confirmed. Although ‘when I’m fixin’ potholes’ would be a much more popular number given the current state of the majority of roads within the Fishwick & Frenchwood ward.

‘Keep it local’ say Preston Labour, despite video appearing to be edited or produced in London

Flat cap, moody eye shot into the camera and Matthew Brown appeared in the latest Preston Labour campaign video – as reported last week.

But eagle-eyed amongst our readers spotted in the final seconds something that appeared to go against the Preston Model’s keeping it local philosophy. Why was a London address listed for the video production? Either W16 or W14 was there (especially if you zoomed in and you were one of seven people who watched to the end).

We asked councillor Matthew Brown, who immediately pointed the finger at strict trade union rules.

He told Blog Preston: “We work closely with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who help with suggestions of videographers who have a track record in producing political broadcasts.

“As a Labour led Council, we are proud of the support we receive from unions who represent working class people employed in postal services, broadband and other sectors of our economy including here in Preston.

“The vast majority of our spend in terms of design of literature and printing is spent within Preston. This equates to over three quarters of our total budget during a campaign like this.”

If you’re a video production or social video production company in and around Preston with a strong track record, might want to drop Matthew and the CWU a line because it appears The Preston Model hasn’t quite reached the high command of leafy West London.

See “we mandate the use of local suppliers and labour” from this year’s Preston Labour manifesto. The full 16-page manifesto is here.

Read more: The Preston Model ‘appears to be working’ says new study

Terrifying photo of the week…

We’ve been attempting to uncover where the Preston Conservatives are. Despite there being three accounts on X for them, and a Facebook page with 29 followers (which equates to roughly the number of votes the Tories tend to get in southern and eastern wards of the city), they were last pictured holding some signs in Booths car park in Sharoe Green in early March. We did however find this belter from former Mayor Trevor Harte taken in a park in Fulwood in recent months…

So that’s what Rishi meant when he ordered everyone to get back to work (even if you are in work) then and stop skiving and work harder, much harder, and then harder again please but no you cannot have anymore money.

Update: A fair point, well made by one of our readers, there is a very active Preston Conservative social account on @PCC_ToriesGroup which we’re happy to report shows an awful lot of campaigning.

Read more: Fylde MP Mark Menzies suspended by Tories over “bad people” payment claims

‘andy admin

Local elections involve a lot of paperwork, and there’s lots of procedures to follow. The mandarins in the Town Hall do the dotting of i’s and crossing of t’s to make sure democracy happens in the city – and a big pat on the back to all the council staff who do the counts and make the actual ballots happen at polling stations each time.

We’ve been asked to feature some public service announcements about this year’s election, so for this week…

You now need photo ID to vote in an election, if you don’t have photo ID then you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. But you have to do this by 5pm on Wednesday 24 April to then be able to vote on Thursday 2 May. The full list of accepted ID to be able to vote can be found on the city council website and you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate on

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