Apparently the county of Derbyshire is under the focus in these forthcoming elections (around two days away, this coming Thursday). National pundits are watching the county with regard to the bigger political picture. As Derbyshire County Council changed after 40 years from Labour controlled to Conservative controlled in 2009, people are watching closely to see if it will change back or if UKIP will be the King Makers?
The Conservatives haven't had an easy ride, with Robin Baldry caught fiddling his expenses and Juliette Stevens defecting to UKIP.
The current council make up is;
Conservative 31 councillors
Labour 23 councillors
Liberal Democrats 7 councillors
Independents 2 councillors
UKIP 1 councillor
Across the county the political candidates are
Conservative 63, Labour 63, UKIP 54, Liberal Democrats 48, Independents 14, Green Party 9, British National Party 4, Trade Unionist & Socialists Against Cuts 4, Socialist Party 1, Monster Raving Loony Party 1. For a full list please click on this link.
So there is quite a lot of diversity county wide to vote for.
There are always those who vote for their political 'tribe.' Those who always vote for Labour or Conservative. Or those who always vote against a certain political 'tribe.' It's the floating voters, the undecided, like myself, that I think can have the real impact. Those whose political allegiance changes with the political weather. They are more inclined to vote for a candidate who they like, regardless of political party. This is where the local issues, as I've previously mentioned the potholes, the ambulance station closures, where the national pundits can't call. Where the issues effecting us in the High Peak are different from those in Chaddesden in Derby.
There are those who will give the ruling parties nationally a beating locally, mid-term, which seems to be the case regardless of who's in power.
A few more flyers came through the door namely for the Conservatives & Labour.
UKIP seem to be tweeting with their @UKIPBuxton profile. Labour have a profile and is steaming ahead with their hashtag #fairdealforderbyshire. Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberal Democrats appear to have a local High Peak profile on Twitter. The Green Party have one with @High Peak Green, but have yet to tweet anything! Most candidates do seem to have a profile on Twitter, with social networking sites seen as a way to get their message across, some using them more than others. But Labour and UKIP seem to be the only ones locally who have any momentum on Twitter.
The flyers were for Conservative Pam Reddy and Labour's Cailin Bisknell.
Sadly Mrs Sea Duck appears to have filed the Conservative flyer in the bin already, so I was hoping to analyze that a bit more but can't due to not having a copy to hand. I do remember it mentioning the opposition to closing the ambulance stations and due to this opposition that there will be an ambulance hub in the High Peak. No there won't be! East Midlands Ambulance Service say it will be an ambulance station, location currently unknown, staffing levels currently unknown. It will NOT be an ambulance hub. The freezing of the council tax I really do like.
The Labour flyer does mention the ambulance station closures but only that the Labour group has fought against these closures. This is very true and quite a few of our local councillors of High Peak Borough Council have taken the lead to object to these plans. I understand that the local councillors unanimously opposed these plans. Notably Fiona Sloman (Labour) appeared to take the lead in Buxton and Lance Dowson (was independent now Labour) taking the lead in New Mills & Hayfield.
They too are saying that they have frozen council tax and pegged car parking charges.
I would be very grateful if someone could explained to me how one pegs a car parking charge?
Labour also want to move Buxton's library back to the town centre. The Buxton library is currently on Kent's Bank Road, up Heath Grove way. It's based in an old school, car parking is very good and free. The Sea Duck's use it often and I'm not sure that moving it to Buxton's town centre would offer the same facilities.
Nothing through the letter box from any of the other parties.
So it would appear that there is 'all to play for', in these coming elections. I for one will be interested in how these turn out.
As always I hope everyone who can vote does so and that the turn out is high.