Friday, 19 April 2013

County Council Elections

There is quite a lot to blog about with what's happening in the World. Baroness Thatcher dying, the Boston Marathon bombing (horrid, simply horrid), North Korea acting like a child who's found their father's gun.  I decided not to focus on those things, important as they are and look slightly more local.

It would appear that the candidate nominations for the forth coming county council elections are now in. Nominations closed on the 5th of April. The three main parties, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour are fielding candidates in pretty much every area. Some areas of the High Peak will be able to vote for UKIP, Green Party and Independents. In my own area there are five candidates.

Tony Kemp for the Conservatives, who lives locally and was one of the Conservative councillors who turned up to discuss the housing plans for Buxton back in December 2012 when none of the Labour councillers did. Conservatives raise housing concerns.

Matthew Bain for the Green Party, again he lives locally and is focused on reducing the councils carbon foot print and moving the UK towards a low-carbon economy. The Greens have a small but loyal following in the High Peak area. Mr Bain is all for locally produced products (should like Redfern's Farm Shop then and Chatsworth Farm Shop .) As well as a fair distribution of resources for all, which sounds good but reminds me of Communism.  I do like his idea for more allotments and community orchards. That would be good for the local biodiversity.

Christopher Weaver for the Liberal Democrats, another local, this time from Whaley Bridge. Living and working in the High Peak for over 40 years, he's also been a local councillor for High Peak Borough Council. The Lib Dems do have quite a green manifesto, recognising climate change, moving towards renewable energy, they also would like to freeze council tax for as long as it is possible.

Fiona Sloman  for the Labour Party another local and councillor for High Peak Borough Council. I have spoken to Fiona before and found her to be very knowledgeable, as a former trade union officer she is very clued up on what people's rights are. She has taken an active role in fighting East Midlands Ambulance Service to save the ambulance stations in the High Peak. She hosted the public meeting at Pavillion Gardens. When I spoke to her regarding the proposed changes I got the distinct impression she was genuinely concerned about the issue, the impact it would have on the people of the High Peak, rather than scoring 'political' brownie points.

Bob Morris an Independent candidate, sadly I couldn't find a link for Mr Morris or any information regarding what he stands for. Thankfully the local paper had piece which noted that Mr Morris wished to put people before 'party politics.' A local man who runs a local business, focusing on education, better roads and transport (have you seen St John's road in Buxton, the pot holes by the traffic lights are just plain dangerous). Being Independent means he won't have a party telling him what to do just the people of Buxton.

I discussed the candidates with Mrs Sea Duck who dispaired that the Beer, Baccy & Crumpet Party wasn't standing in our area. As usual I would have liked more diversity of parties to vote for, I guess the old adage if there's no one you would like to vote for then you should stand yourself applies.

I just hope that everyone who is able to vote does so.

I have had a look at Twitter to see what the parties locally are tweeting, it appears Labour are the ones who seem busy in that side of the social media with the hashtag #fairdealforderbyshire, as well as to a lesser degree UKIP. There are webpages for the other candidates with a little bit about them (some very little), but the Labour party and UKIP seem to be the only ones using social media to their advantage, locally at least.

I know that Labour has been out canvassing  in Harpur Hill and Glossopdale but I have yet to see anyone else, no flyers or leaflets through the door. A few UKIP posters around. In our area Labour seem to have a distinct advantage with just a plain good old head start. But the discussions I have heard from the electorate seem to be of the lines of the usual 'they're all as bad as each other.' UKIP and the Greens are minor parties and therefore a waste of a vote (unfairly seen that way if you ask me). Labour got us into a huge financial mess. The Conservatives and Lib Dems can't seem to get us out of it.

As I noted before I just hope that as many people do vote in these elections as are able to do so.

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