THE letters pages of recent local papers remind us that in May the town council elections are due in St Ives. Every four years, up pops the usual crop of letters asking us all to abandon party politics in local government and to vote for the independents
THE letters pages of recent local papers remind us that in May the town council elections are due in St Ives.
Every four years, up pops the usual crop of letters asking us all to abandon party politics in local government and to "vote for the independents" while heaping indiscriminate, and often wholly unwarranted, condemnation upon anyone with any form of "party" affiliation.
As someone who has had, at various times over the last five years, some direct but independent involvement with the St Ives Town Council, and over 50 years' service in local government generally, I shall watch with great interest to see just how "independent" are those candidates who are brave enough to put themselves forward for election.
How many will represent special interest groups? How many, I wonder, will be the old political cast-offs of a bygone era upon whose shoulders rests the responsibility for many of the problems facing the council today? How many will be those who so swiftly rush to compose cheap and easy letters of criticism? Will they be putting their candidatures where their mouths are?
Had the recent problems, including that of the Corn Exchange, been so easy to resolve, would not the current council quickly have done so - especially with elections looming? Sometimes, sticking to the law and doing what is right is not always popular. If you want to be a councillor just to be popular, forget it.
To comply with the law of the land is a fundamental requirement upon every local councillor (although some take more persuading than others). To propose or be complicit in any policies contrary to that law is, not least, a betrayal of the trust to which every elector and taxpayer is entitled.
To those who decide to seek election to St Ives Town Council, I would say that there are many who will watch your future actions with considerable interest in the hope, maybe, that they might just match your promises. Good luck.
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