In case you have forgotten – Waverley’s Parish and Borough elections take place tomorrow, Thursday – and you need an ID to vote.
These elections may demonstrate voter feelings before a General Election next year.
Some cynical souls believe the Coronation frivolity may eclipse the important elections as everyone focuses on hanging their bunting and baking the Coronation Quiche – if they can find enough broad beans! Yuk!!
However, pinning your vote onto the men and women who seek to represent you is important. Very important.
Because long after the bunting is packed away and the leftover quiche sent to compost – the wannabe councillors could be making significant decisions that affect you and yours. Decisions that could affect whether that unsightly three-storey extension on your neighbours’ property gets the go-ahead. Or, yet another shedload of homes is approved on yet another green field in the neighbourhood. Or, perhaps significant service changes, e.g. refuse collection etc.
Beware the paper candidates, usually spotted by being reticent about saying where they live. “Address in Waverley,’ almost certainly means they don’t live or work on the patch they intend to represent. Whether at a parish or borough level, watch out for the candidates you once voted for and who, after a short period, threw their toys out of their prams and resigned.
Do they really deserve to be re-elected?
Hannah Nicholson is one such wannabe Cranleigh Parish Councillor. Sought election, served for a bit, had a meltdown and resigned. Now she wants to go back and have another go. Really!! Her desire to serve the public has resulted in an £11,000 bill for an Election in the Cranleigh Parish Council West Ward. Why is she shy about saying where she lives?
Candidates without knowledge of the places and people they want to represent. In Farnham’s Firgrove Ward, one of the Conservative candidates lives in Bramley – the opposite side of the borough. Wonder if he has ever visited Farnham – well, he may have too soon. The same applies elsewhere in the borough. Beware of candidates who don’t know the people and places they want to represent.
Don’t be out looking for the results of the parish elections on Friday – because you will be disappointed. The count will not be held until Sunday – is that double time or treble time for the bean counters? Will it be interesting to see the bill?
One local said:
I had a leaflet through my door which said, “Jeremy Hunt wants to hear what you have to say.”
I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.
Several parish councils will not be fielding enough candidates to fill the spaces up for grabs. Shame they will be co-opting members to get a full complement to serve their parishes. Is working at the grassroots becoming a bit of a chore?
10 thoughts on “Borough and parish elections on Thursday.”
In fairness, not giving a personal address can have another reason (all candidates and councillors are required to live or work in the borough). Many people in politics have experienced personal abuse – rare but unpleasant – and are therefore reluctant to inform everyone of their exact address, since it’s not unknown for unpleasant people to turn up outside and harass them and their families (who, after all, are not responsible at all). I don’t publish my phone number for the same reason, though both my council and my private email addresses are freely available (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com).
Leader, Waverley Labour group
However, Cllr Palmer, we agree there can be other reasons for withholding address details. Why, in the main, are they all Conservatives?
In Farnham, 14 of the 16 Conservative Candidates did not provide their addresses. Moreover 8 of them even declined to provide a candidate “profile” for the Farnham Herald. Candidates in Wards such as Firgrove, Health End, Moor Park, North West, and Weybourne. Everyone beware…..there may be phoney candidates on your ballot paper
I have long argued that sadly the large number of Parish Councils which don’t even have enough candidates to trigger an election is a real problem. While some in government will say that this is real grass roots democracy the reality is that vacancies tend to be filled by chums of existing councillors. Parish Councillors in the most part work hard and with the large number of planning applications affecting Parishes and Communities we need more good councillors.
Or could it possibly be that parish councillors feel somewhat neglected? Particularly in planning issues, where their views are mainly ignored.
Nick Palmer is correct – “address in Waverley” does not always imply they live outside the ward. That is often the case, but it can also be because some people (especially women) are concerned about potential abuse or harassment. So be wary of candidates with no address – but don’t jump to conclusions, Ask them (or their party) for more details. Candidates do live inside the ward should be happy to give at least an indication, if not the exact address.
Wise guidance to choose the most able councillor to represent you and your family. This choice is vital within local governments’ complex environment that can harm you, your ward and property. It takes considerable skill, knowledge and time to be a councillor that delivers value for council taxpayers’ money and who takes decisions that do no harm and even sometimes good.
Perhaps voters should also consider looking at the attendance records of some councillors seeking re-election.
Your wish is my command
Well done, Adam Clark – some beneficial information. Former conservative Group Leader Julia Potts only attends meetings occasionally because she lives in the West Country.