I've been chatting to people about what they think about the County Council Elections this May. Quite a few people didn't know who they were going to vote for. Mainly on the basis of 'they're all as bad as each other.' However, I tried to focus conversations on what people were wanting from their council.
One of the main things that people mentioned was pot-holes. It seems like Mayor Giuliani's broken window policy many people feel that a pot hole means that those in power don't care. Mayor Giuliani of New York thought that broken windows left unpaired made people feel that things were going downhill and that those in power did not care so launched a policy of repairing every broken window reported or spotted. Pot holes seem to be classed in the same way by the people I spoke to. St John's road in Buxton and New Mills Newtown traffic lights seemed to feature in peoples evidence of this.
The second thing mentioned was the fear of loosing ambulance cover from the Being the Best proposals from East Midlands Ambulance Service. This seems to get classed as either 'insane or just plain madness' rather across the board from locals who cannot see the sense in the proposals at all. That East Midlands Ambulance Service were solely focusing on ticking the boxes for response times which are easier in the bigger towns and cities and relegating those of us who live in rural areas to second best. Feeling that EMAS have assumed the attitude of we can't hit the response times in the High Peak area so why bother. I'll blog a little more about the current ambulance stations situation this coming week as I think it's an essential service to focus on.
Other things people mentioned were housing, schools and more importantly after school care for the children as most families have both parents working. There was a mixed reception to the welfare reforms, namely some people were worse off and others thought that a cap on benefits was actually a good thing. Then the conversations moved to jobs. Or rather the lack of them. High Peakers do seem to be focusing on local issues, rather than national. However, on a national level one thing seemed to be apparent a 'fear' of immigration. Namely if more people come into the country then services will be reduced just by the increase in people using them. This was apparent on last nights Question Time on the BBC. Us Brit's seem to have developed a 'fear' of immigration?
I'm seeing more signs up regarding the election, mostly Labour with a few Lib Dems and Conservatives. As I previously mentioned, Labour do seem to have got their act together with regard to these elections. A lot of activity on Twitter, and canvasing and the signs in people's gardens. Fiona Sloman is getting a few mentions on Twitter though she doesn't appear to be tweeting much herself.
The High Peak Conservatives seem to have finally going on cyber space too. There were also quite a few placards seen showing support for their candidate Jocelyn Street.
The Greens seemed to not really being up for this round. I saw their leader on Question Time last night, she did seem to live in a Utopian world of her own, to brass tacks I didn't like her. I was toying of voting for the Green Party until then.
Apart from a few placards in High Lane (not our patch) I haven't seen anything of the Lib Dems and a few posters around were all I have seen of UKIP.
I really couldn't say which way this election could/will go. All I hope is that the turn out is high and that everyone who is able to vote does so.