Today I had an illicit breakfast (nothing new in that) in my local (Cluny) community café. In doing so, I picked up and read the latest political newsletter (this one by the Independents) and got to learn of a meeting that took place the previous evening in the same café – to do with proposed developments of a new football stadium.
As far as newsletters go, this one was better than average and the customary blowing of one’s own trumpet we are accustomed to seeing was valid and acceptable given the circumstances. It was nice to see not too much knocking the opposition going on. I even support the exhortation for the continuation of the present administration although I would rather it be Labour rather than Independent led. This is coming from one who has had the occasional ding dong with our local Independent councilors. I think all told, Brian Ayling our current councilor, who is up for re-election, has done a creditable job and I would not be displeased if he did get re-elected come the local elections due to take place this May.
Regarding the meeting, the Independents did what all councilors should do. The building of a new football stadium in the ward is a legitimate interest for our councilors. They have already picked up on some of the concerns of local residents and had invited them to a meeting so they could discuss these with the view to making appropriate representations in their councilor roles. (I have just been corrected – the meeting was about a 5-a-side pitch at our local school – ed). My main gripe is I wasn’t aware the meeting was to take place and neither were some of the other interested parties.
This all begs the question: who will I be supporting from among the current crop of candidates in the coming local elections? The answer is I don’t know and it is likely to be none of them. There are several reasons for this. I would like to think I have friends in all parties and can speak frankly and in confidence with many of them. I see my main role as being a community activist and bringing politicians of whatever shade to account. While it is too early for us to know all those who Brian will be up against, we do know that Donna Richardson (Labour) and Del Thomas (Conservative) have already thrown their hats into the ring. I believe both Donna and Del have a lot to offer and both would serve well if elected. Also, I have a cunning plan, and that is to contrive a local hustings where Brian, Donna and Del and whoever else puts themselves forward, can come and explain to us residents why it is we should be voting for them.
My final reason is my track record for helping local politicians I happen to support in getting elected is abysmal and I wouldn’t want to impose that on any of them. In the meantime, I continue to take an interest in what is going on in my ward, asking difficult questions in order to bring to account those who is or wants to be representing my interests and those of other residents who live in the ward, and to work with all and sundry in my community activism in order for my ward, this town and this world to be a better place.