A weekly newspaper has made videos of election candidates as part of a campaign to encourage people to vote.
The Bucks Free Press launched its Get Out and Vote campaign ahead of Thursday’s local elections which will see voters in the area head to the polls to choose the new councillors for Buckinghamshire County Council.
As part of the campaign, the paper offered all 149 candidates in the Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe district areas the chance of filming a one-minute video presentation about themselves.
Just 24 candidates out of 149 took up the offer, including 20 out of the 75 people standing in the paper’s core Wycombe patch, and the title has listed those who passed up the chance.
The paper has also given every candidate the chance to write 250 words about themselves and their policies, which the paper is publishing on its website.
Politics reporter James Nadal said: “I’m pleased we had 24 candidates record videos but am also surprised that anyone seriously hoping to get elected would pass up the chance for such great free publicity.
“We have made it clear who hasn’t taken up the offer to speak on camera directly to voters and are letting readers judge for themselves what they think about that.
“We have also been running polls online and many people are saying through those that the information given directly to voters by candidates/parties has been extremely poor. Another reason it’s important that we as the local paper try to provide as much information as possible.
“Both online and in print we have been trying to stimulate as much interest and awareness as possible in the elections as we can in order to hopefully help boost turnout.
“As we’ve said in our comment pieces, if you don’t go out and vote, you shouldn’t complain about the council when you’re unhappy with its service. It doesn’t take a huge effort to get out there and vote so we’re hoping as many of our readers will be doing just that on May 2.”
The paper’s campaign has highlighted how the county council has a combined revenue and capital budget of over £800,000,000 and is in charge of the roads, schools, social care and over 100 other services.
James added the paper plans to run further campaigns and video coverage for future elections.
The videos can be viewed here.