Hectic times right now as it’s election season all over. We’re also beginning to see – both locally and nationally – the campaigns begin to take shape from different areas. Labour and the Greens desperately trying to pretend the NHS is about to be sold off as they always do. UKIP still pretending they are Left-Wing to left-wingers and Right-Wing to right-wingers. Nobody really listening to the Lib Dems anymore.
Locally the Wisbech Conservatives have organised well. We have a good team out every Saturday in the market place, literature going out in most parts of Wisbech, candidates selected for every seat in every ward who are all champing at the bit to get out there. In my opinion we have some of the best teams we have ever had and I’m looking forward to following their efforts as the election season commences. They are certainly going to put the fear of God into lazy opposition Councillors who think they can just swan into re-election without doing anything.
I’ve had a really busy week with Overview & Scrutiny on Monday, Wisbech Conservatives Branch meeting on Wednesday, FDC Full Council today followed by a North-East Cambs Conservatives A.G.M. this evening. Tomorrow I’m meeting residents in the morning to try and help resolve a thorny issue and then in the afternoon I’m working with Waterlees Conservatives to get the message out that doom and gloom is no sort of solution and photo opportunities don’t represent success.
On Saturday I’m out with the wider Conservative team in the morning and then on to my Councillor Surgery in the afternoon. For any Medworth residents who would like to come visit me, report problems, make suggestions or just have a natter I will be at The Angel Pub on Alexandra Road from Midday until 2PM in the lower bar area (suitable for families.) There will be coffee and cake.
I was pleased to be able to vote for a Council Tax Freeze again today. Which means that both the Councils I am involved with – Wisbech Town Council and Fenland District Council have delivered a freeze for the second year on the trot. I was the only person on the Scrutiny Committee to vote against a rise and at that time I was mocked by a number of individuals for that. It appears that my position, lonely though it was at the time, has won out, since FDC voted unanimously for a freeze today. I promised when I stood for election that I would fight for a freeze and I have kept my promise. I argued for it, I voted for it, and it was been delivered. It is thanks, once again, to good financial management and hard work by Officers and staff on this Conservative-run Council that it has been possible to protect and improve services for people, while keeping the cost of doing so down.
One interesting thing at Full Council today. Virginia Bucknor has become “Leader of the Biggest Opposition Group.” Previously, the leader of the Biggest Opposition Group (three of them) was Cllr Gavin Booth, a Liberal Democrat who led the Liberal Democrat Alliance; himself, Cllr David Patrick (was Lib Dem then Independent) and Mark Archer (Independent.) But Dave “Taxi” Patrick went off to join UKIP and Mark Archer went off to find himself on the other side of the world, leaving poor Gavin Booth all alone. Which means that the new Biggest Opposition Group (two of them, married) is now the Bucknors’ Really Really Really Truly Independents. I wonder what it’s like being the leader of the Biggest Group which comprises of you and your husband? Group meetings must be a blast. I notice that the local press never really mentioned the way the people of Manea were left in the lurch with no representation for a year, nor the interesting idea of claiming a Special Responsibility Allowance for being the “leader” of a tiny little two-person group. Nice work if you can get it. :)
Having resigned from the Executive Officers Committee of North-East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association a couple of weeks ago on a point of principle, at the A.G.M. tonight I was nominated to stand for election in a more senior role. I was previously an “additional officer” but tonight I was nominated to stand as Deputy Chair Political. I accepted the nomination. I am proud that I was elected by N.E.C.C.A. members to take on that role. With many of the old Officers standing down there was a lot of competition for the empty posts – the most competition for those positions that I have ever seen. With only a limited number of positions available there was going to be some disappointment and that meant some really good people didn’t manage to get elected this time. But it was great to see such interest and competition and I am looking forward to working with the brand new team going forwards. We have a lot of work to do helping the Association to grow and prosper in order that we can continue to carry the Conservative message far and wide in Fenland, to work hard for our communities across the area, and to help sound hard-working Conservatives get elected in as many places as possible.
As an aside, I nearly fell off my chair when I saw UKIP making claims that they “support the Wisbech Rail Link” in their newspaper advert last week. As far as I am aware, none of the local UKIP County Councillors have ever done so. I don’t know what Lagoda thought, since he left UKIP under the cloud of being a benefits cheat before we could find out. But the others have long been vocal critics. Even at the most recent full Council meeting one of our Wisbech ‘Kippers reportedly referred to the rail link as: “a train set for boys who have never grown up.” I wonder, is there anything that UKIP wont suddenly do a U-Turn on and make dodgy claims about as they grubbily clutch for votes? Anything at all?
It is the local Conservatives who have worked hard to repair our dilapidated buildings. Local Conservatives who have overseen a period of expansion and growth in the Town. Local Conservatives who have worked hard with the Wisbech Society and others to secure grant funding to improve our Town Centre. Local Conservatives who have led on Festivals and events for our town. Local Conservatives who have helped deliver thousands of pounds of arts funding for the area. I know that not all readers of my blog are Conservatives. However, I hope you will appreciate that the Tories of Fenland want only the best for the people who live here. Difficult choices must be made and nothing is easy anymore, for sure. But you can count on your local Conservatives to fight for all the things the area needs, while making sure that you don’t get stung with gigantic council tax rises. it is not by accident that the only Council to increase it’s Council Taxes this year is the one which is not controlled by the Conservatives, but by a hotch-potch kind of unofficial Rainbow Alliance under the sclerotic, paralysed Committee System. I hate to say I Told You So. But I did.