by jackiebrodie on 3 May, 2017
The date of May 4th, 2017 has been near the top of my thoughts for 18 months at least now, but I do appreciate that for many people the day will pass much the same as any other. Sadly the turnout for a local election is usually no more than 25% in Newton Abbot, but please prove me wrong on that and turn out in larger numbers. It is always interesting hearing the full range of comments on the door step about politics and elections. By full range I mean those that say “Everyone should vote, if you don’t you have no right to complain” to “ I’m fed up with all these elections, all the Parties will do the same anyway” to “ I don’t know anything about politics” etc. I actually enjoy the challenge of getting people to think a bit more about the relevance of voting, especially in local elections. Devon County Council is responsible for spending in lots of areas that directly affect the quality of everyone’s lives, social care, schools, roads and pavements, planning, the environment, waste management, minerals exploitation, country parks. Most of these services have received a hammering from the Conservative administration, with severe cutbacks and a visible run down of the quality of service. Even accepting that “times are hard” with decreasing funds coming from Central Government, there are many areas where money is still being wasted. We have highlighted just a few eg. £400,000 a year hiring meeting rooms. Just think where that money could have been better spent. The Lib Dems have committed to overturning the County Council education cuts. This formed part of the Lib Dems alternative County budget which was voted down by the Conservatives.
Tomorrow is your chance to vote for something better for our town and County. The Conservatives in Newton Abbot have defended their County Councillor who disappeared to France rather than demand her resignation. They haven’t respected the voter and I would suggest don’t now deserve your vote.
Our democracy may have many flaws, and some of the media coverage may be nauseating and repetitive and demand some filtering out of the lies by us, but isn’t our system better than so many other countries in the world? We do have the chance to criticise our politicians, and vote them out if we don’t like them. We don’t decide our rulers by the use of violence. We don’t get thrown in prison (or worse) for speaking out against our Government. It may not be a perfect democracy but I believe we should value it and participate. And if you don’t like the selection of candidates on the ballot paper then how about standing for election yourself next time!!?
Talking of comments on the door step I want to thank the many of you that have already voted for me by post, and those that have voiced your support for me and the Lib Dems, it really is very much appreciated. If elected tomorrow I can assure you that I will continue the hard work I have been doing as a District Councillor. I will keep in touch with you on a regular basis, I will respond to issues you raise with me, I will not be afraid to speak up for your interests at County Hall and I will be available for you to meet with and talk to. I only ask now for you to take a few minutes to go and vote, so that I can serve you for the next 4 years.
If you have mislaid your polling card, don’t worry, you don’t need it, just turn up at your polling station and give your name and address. If you have any queries please get in touch on 01626 362070. Thank you for your support.
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