SOME of the candidates standing for election in Worcester have been accused of double standards by promoting the need to protect local jobs and services but getting some of their leaflets printed not only outside of the city but the county too.
The Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UKIP and BNP have all come under fire from one of the independent candidates standing in the city.
Peter Nielsen, who used Rich Print on Worcester’s Shrub Hill industrial estate to get his 46,200 leaflets printed, said: “The parties have failed at the first hurdle to demonstrate support for local business in a practical way.”
The Pirate Party UK’s Andrew Robinson has used Pace Print and Design in Buckholt Drive, Blackpole, Worcester, for all of his leaflets while independent Andrew Christian-Brookes said he had used Premiere Press at Ryelands business centre, near Droitwich.
Mike Foster, Labour, said he thought about half of his leaflets were printed locally and half were printed centrally in Essex in a bid to keep costs down and gain access to a database that allows him to personally address the correspondence.
“As much as we want to protect local jobs and services we can’t pretend Worcester is isolated from the rest of the UK,” said Mr Foster. “This is not a large sum of cash. We’re talking about a general election campaign where costs have to be under £10,000 and that’s for everything, not just leaflets.”
Jackie Alderson (Liberal Democrat), Louis Stephen (Green Party), and Robin Walker (Conservative) all said it was cheaper to get main election addresses printed centrally in Oldbury, Sussex, and Guildford respectively, but all said they use local printers for local council leaflets.
Ms Alderson said: “It would be great to print them all in Worcester, however, for the purpose of having to keep costs down then the Liberal Democrats go to somebody in Oldbury so it’s still in the West Midlands.”
Mr Stephen said: “We don’t have a lot of money so we have to get them done at a reasonable cost.
“All of our local council leaflets are printed by Rich Print.”
Mr Walker said: “It’s important to support local firms but sometimes when you’re trying to get out vast quantities of information it can become more economical to get it done centrally.”
Jack Bennett, UKIP, said while his party’s national election addresses might have been printed in Cornwall he had personally used a Worcester firm.
“I used Print and Design and got a lot of my stuff from there, all of my leaflets,” he said.
A spokesman for Spencer Kirby, BNP, said all national material is printed in Nuneaton. He also said that “any local material would usually be printed locally” but could not confirm if that was the case in Worcester.