A few days ago I posted an article “St. Lukes – Local Council Elections 2019” giving my thoughts on the May 2nd Local Elections as it relates to the ward I live in, but today I want to do so for another ward in the town, adopting a different approach, being less aware of the dynamics and personalities involved.
When I became a community activist around the turn of the millennium, I had a number of positive links to the Westborough ward in the work I did with the Growing Together project, Community-in-Harmony and managing a night shelter in one of the churches (St. Andrews). I met there a number of community minded folk and many were linked to the two residents associations (RAW and WCA) covering that period. I also had dealings with some of the councilors who represented the ward, and even though the councilors sitting now are all Labour, during that period I also dealt with Independent and Liberal Democrat councilors.
The first thing to say is I don’t have a view of the main issues (although I am aware the ward is densely populated with few amenities and lots of multiple occupancy residents) or of the candidates (only one of which I can name at this time) but I am fascinated for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is a better than average interest in local politics, partly evidenced by the ward regularly puts on successful hustings. Secondly, one of the projects I am interested in: “Off the Streets” is based in the ward and their continuance is an issue, especially given recent proposals to operate have been opposed by the Labour councilors. Thirdly, the one candidate I know for sure is standing, has supported Off the Streets.
That candidate is Alan Hart and this article is not about endorsing him. However, there is one good reasons for doing so besides his support for Off the Streets, and that after having read his latest leaflet titled “Westborough Totally Independent News” February – March issue 2019. Backtracking to five years ago, soon after I entered the blogosphere, I wrote an article: “True, Necessary and Kind”, making the point that before opening one’s mouth (or putting pen to paper) these are the three things that should be considered. I used as an example the leaflets the candidates in my ward put out and the person who scored highest in these categories as far as their leaflet went was the one who got my vote. Sadly the candidate who did score the highest lost and the one who wrote drivel like “your concerns are my concerns” and then for much of the period following failed to deliver won. But that is politics.
Alan, who claims to be “Totally Independent”, has stood a number of times in Westborough, has been active in the community, as evidenced by his support for Off the Streets and a number of other things going on in the ward, and has canvassed hard, without acrimony, but has always lost by a significant margin. But having read his leaflet I was blown away by how well he did on the TNK front and by what I think he could bring to the party if he won. It is probably one of the best election leaflet I have seen for many a year, clearly giving good reasons why people should vote for him. How well he will do, I can’t say and if past results are anything to go by and with no party machine behind him the prospects aren’t very good, which would be a shame, but if I were to adopt the criteria I did in 2014 and lived in Westborough, I might well vote for him.