It has been quite a week for the rural communist party what with Tolpuddle, the re launch of Country Standard and a branch punching above its weight in a rural by election in Barnstaple.

If you want to fight the slum landlords, absentee landowners and asset strippers behind this ConDem government and you live in Barnstaple, then read on.

By election Barnstaple Central Ward Barnstaple Town Council Thursday 15th July

Adam Bradford Liberal Democrat 477

Paulene Godfrey Conservative 194

Gerrard Sables Communist 42

Barnstaple is a small market town in North Devon and its town council is overwhelmingly Liberal Democrat with a handful of Conservatives and a lone Green. As the main town in the North Devon constituency it was primarily responsible for the improved vote of the new Liberal Democrat Minster for the Armed Forces Nick Harvey.

Barnstaple has a lot of flats, bedsits and what were, until the former LibDem council sold them off, council houses. Most people who work and live in Barnstaple are in low paid and precarious employment and fewer than half are trade union members.

North Devon branch of the Communist Party has stood in elections each year since 2007 when Paul Dyer was the candidate in Barnstaple Yeo ward for both Town and District Council. In 2008 Gerrard Sables stood in a by election in the Barnstaple Forches and Whiddon ward. In 2009 Paul Dyer stood in the Devon County Council election and in the Euro elections for No2EU- Yes to Democracy. In 2010 Gerrard stood in both the parliamentary election and in Thursday's by election. Both Paul and Gerrard are active in the trade union movement - Paul in RMT and Unite and Gerrard in PCS Retired Members and they are respectively Secretary and Treasurer of Barnstaple Trades Council. Next year the branch plans to have four candidates standing in Town and District Council elections.

The branch has a stall in the Pilton Green festival on the third Saturday of each July with a really vibrant display of political literature, toys, and other goodies. The next day the North Devon banner goes to Tolpuddle where it is a regular feature.

North Devon branch has also hosted a number of public meetings last year with a Cuban speaker and this year with a Greek comrade. These are always well attended.

Recently members set up North Devon Morning Star Readers and Supporters Group and the party branch has a new website

North Devon CPB branch is a small branch in a mainly rural and small town location which punches well above its weight. You can join the branch and get involved here.