Author Topic: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'  (Read 24051 times)

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Dick Norman

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Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« on: April 03, 2008, 09:34:34 PM »
This has got to be the most boring local election I have ever experienced.  Nobody is talking about it anywhere and that includes this site so what the hell is going on?  Is anybody going to bother to vote let alone for whom?  Is it really so bad that nobody even cares cos they believe it doesn't matter anymore whoever is in power they take no notice anyway.

Could be some very strange results on May 1st!!!

Anyway  :WTF:

Come on Mart Strike Up!!



Offline Tobes

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 10:48:53 PM »
... it is weird... Who lives in an effected ward???
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline swindonlad

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2008, 05:54:10 AM »
there is some discussion on swindon's election on a national elections web site, but as it's seen as a forgone result most people cannot get excited about it, but i will copy come posts from there....

Offline swindonlad

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2008, 05:56:20 AM »
Party   Seats  up in '08    not up   wins*   new council*   * health warning, this is my best guess
Con      41       15            26        16          42
Lab      11         3             8         5           13
LD         3         1             2         1            3
Ind        2         1             1          -           1
Vac       2         2              -         -            -             (1 C, 1 Lab)

labour need ALL 22 wins to take back the council, tories need 4 to hold on

vacancies:
Dorcan - Con, other seat up is the leader of the council & last time it was C 1384, L 718
Parks - see below

very likely changes:
Central - lab gain from C - cllr crossed the floor
Abbey Meads - C gain from Ind - cllr thown out of party for being a UKIP member, last time C 1639, L 375

other interesting seats (last time votes in brackets for parties that can win the seat - but there was e-voting on '07 & will not be in '08)
Eastoctt LDs should win this but the fight for 2nd place has recently been very close & if the tories close the gap on the Lib Dems further they are still winning votes in the areas labour need to get to hold on to the MP

Moredon [C 1187, L 885] - now all 3 are C, but the L candidate is a long term former cllr for the ward, so may be closer than this

Parks (L 775, C 603), 2 seats up due to resignation of a L cllr who was found to be claiming his allowance whilst in Spain & this was spalshed all over the local paper.  tories & labour in south swindon are throwing lots of effort into this one.  if the tories win both seats in this ward (100% social / purchased ex-social housing) it will be a real death blow to the labour party in south swindon as they will only have 4 cllrs (C 22, LD3)

St Philip (C 1254, L 1218) - this is a real battle on election day to get the voters to the polling station, no change in this in '08.  cllr is standing down & replaced by the current cllr for central who crossed the floor

Walcot (C 756, L 711) the cllr won the seat as L but crossed the floor (as did her fellow ward cllr, but he won as C in '07).  the ward is 40% private housing, very C 60% poorest social housing in the constituency, very L.  rumour on the streets is labour have given up on it to concentrate on holding parks, but could be very close.

Western (L 1268 C 656) only listed as the tory candidate is Peter Heaton-Jones who is very well known as an ex-BBC Radio Swindon Breakfast show host.  Labour cllr (current mayor) is standing down - labour are nervous about this as the other 2 cllrs are the group leader & spokesperson on finance & admin, so are having to work it whereas the party would like them elsewhere.

otherwise - n/c
certains (subject to getting the nominations in)

Conservative wins:
Abbey Meads, Cov.& Nythe, Dorcan (x2), Freshbrook & Grange Park, Haydon Wick, Highworth, Old Town & Lawn, Ridgeway, Shaw & Nine Elms, St Margaret, Toothill & Westlea, Wroughton & Chiseldon

Labour wins:
Central, Gorse Hill & Pinehurst

Lib Dem win: Eastcott

Offline swindonlad

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2008, 05:59:53 AM »
Announced candidates on the web:

Conservatives

North Swindon

Abbey Meads Ward - Vera Tomlinson
Blunsdon Ward - No Election This Year
Covingham & Nythe Ward - Cllr Dale Heenan
Gorsehill & Pinehurst Ward - Louise Gallavin
Haydon Wick Ward - Cllr Rex Barnett
Highworth Ward - Cllr Anthony Peake
Moredon Ward - Cllr Colin Lovell
Penhill Ward - No Election This Year
St. Philip Ward - Cllr Sinead Darker
Stratton St. Margaret Ward - Cllr Ray Fisher
Western Ward - Peter Heaton-Jones

South Swindon

Central Ward - Kevin Leakey
Dorcan Ward - Cllr Rod Bluh & Kevin Parry (2 Member Election)
Eastcott Ward - Paul Gregory
Freshbrook & Grange Park Ward - Cllr Peter Greenhalgh
Old Town & Lawn Ward - Cllr Mike Bawden
Parks Ward - Graham Cherry & Clare Ellis (2 Member Election)
Ridgeway Ward - Cllr Andrew Bennett
Shaw & Nine Elms Ward - Cllr Nick Martin
Toothill & Westlea Ward - Cllr Mary Martin
Walcot Ward - Cllr Mavis Childs
Wroughton & Chiseldon Ward - Cllr Brian Ford

UKIP

Central  Eric Bagwell
Covingham & Nythe    Cynthia Desmond
Pinehurst & Gorsehill   Steve Halden
Old Town & Lawn   Noel Gardner
Moredon   Kathy Webb
Western   Greg Heathcliffe
St Margaret   Robert Feal-Martinez
St Phillip   Peter Thompson-Watt
Haydon Wick   Michael Stuckey
Abbey Meads  Robin Tingey
Dorcan  Robert Shepherd
Parks  Terry Haywood

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2008, 09:27:00 AM »
This has got to be the most boring local election I have ever experienced.


There's quite a bit bubbling away under the surface but most people I've spoken to recently have been stunned by the most recent hypocritical behaviour of the Swindon MP's.  I, for one, do believe that there is a direct link between the behaviour of parliamentarians and whether people will vote in local and National elections. I question whether Wills and Snelgrove have made people angry enough to get out and vote on May the 1st or, as seems more likely to me, they have made even more people politically despondent and disengaged, (if that's possible).  For many I think staying in and watching the soaps will seem a better use of their time.

I've said this before and I'll doubtless say it a few more times. Every time a politician takes a political dump on a town and it's people, (whether they be local councillors or Parliamentarians), interest and engagement in democracy diminishes. Perhaps this is what our political 'finest' actually want, a relatively small number of engaged, interested and ultimately 'manageable' people who will turn out an vote regularly.

Piss enough people off for long enough and spaces at the trough will start appearing for UKIP and BNP councillors and MP's, put there by voters who are really are fed up watching the farcical merry-go-round that is 21st century U.K politics.  Remember 1997?, Blair slithered into Number 10 and his disciples into the Palace of Westminster because people were fed up and wanted a change of government. At that time the Labour party were the only half-credible alternative, (in that they said all the right things). At the next general election both UKIP and the BNP will be much better placed to capitalise upon the shit state that 10 years of the Nu-Labour, (and now Nu-Nu-Labour), 'style' of popularist and agenda driven government has left the country in. 

Perhaps it's time we start thinking seriously about supporting Swindon-focused candidates in both local and National elections and putting our political umbrellas up against the disappointing and disloyal political drizzle that is leaving the people of Swindon damp, cold and unrepresented in Parliament.  This isn't helped by the good ship SBC being stocked almost to the gunwhales with herd animals who, (being simultaneously tempted with treasury carrots and beaten with Westminster sticks), have been instructed not to rock the boat by challenging or otherwise upsetting either MP.  Sad but true. 

We could have, or rather we should have two Labour MP's who are working with our Conservative led council for Swindons benefit.  What we actually have is a Conservative led council which is now afraid to challenge either MP for fear that the MP's will do even less on the towns behalf in Westminster, (if that's even possible!). In essence our MP's are leading our council by its collective snout to an appointment with the slaughterman, and not the promised trough of plenty.

As far as local democracy is concerned Swindon Borough Council is in imminent danger of becoming an irrelevance.  As long as one of the two MP's is permitted to wander around the civic offices on her own recognisance and instructing officers to do her bidding without reference to the local councillors and lead members concerned, the process of electing councillors and the proper functioning of an elected council is undermined and derogated.  Councils and MP's should be working together, but not in the roles of puppets and puppeteers.  Councillors and Councils should be able to challenge, argue and disagree with MP's, (and visa versa), yet all should rightfully expect each themselves and the others to put 100% of their effort into doing the best for the people and town that elected them, and so far the council and the MP's are failing both the people of the Borough and the Borough itself.

Rod Bluh says that regeneration is about people, and I believe he means what he says.  So my question for Rod is: How do you regenerate peoples faith in Swindon politics and demonstrate that the Council is it's own master?   


 :popcorn:




Offline Provocateur

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2008, 10:28:03 AM »
Quote
Quote
Vows are spoken
To be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
Pleasures remain
So does the pain
Words are meaningless
And forgettable

All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

Enjoy the silence


... to be heard being hummed by local politicians...
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 11:22:32 AM by Provocateur »

Offline swindonlad

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2008, 02:39:59 PM »
statement of who's nominated is out:

tories & labour have 22 (out of a possible 22) candidates
lib dems have 21 (only 1 candidate in dorcan)
ukip 11
independent 2 (michael morton in western & dave cox in central)

odd one is no green candidates this year

Offline Alan Hayward

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2008, 12:06:26 AM »
This has got to be the most boring local election I have ever experienced.


There's quite a bit bubbling away under the surface but most people I've spoken to recently have been stunned by the most recent hypocritical behaviour of the Swindon MP's.  I, for one, do believe that there is a direct link between the behaviour of parliamentarians and whether people will vote in local and National elections. I question whether Wills and Snelgrove have made people angry enough to get out and vote on May the 1st or, as seems more likely to me, they have made even more people politically despondent and disengaged, (if that's possible).  For many I think staying in and watching the soaps will seem a better use of their time.

I've said this before and I'll doubtless say it a few more times. Every time a politician takes a political dump on a town and it's people, (whether they be local councillors or Parliamentarians), interest and engagement in democracy diminishes. Perhaps this is what our political 'finest' actually want, a relatively small number of engaged, interested and ultimately 'manageable' people who will turn out an vote regularly.

Piss enough people off for long enough and spaces at the trough will start appearing for UKIP and BNP councillors and MP's, put there by voters who are really are fed up watching the farcical merry-go-round that is 21st century U.K politics.  Remember 1997?, Blair slithered into Number 10 and his disciples into the Palace of Westminster because people were fed up and wanted a change of government. At that time the Labour party were the only half-credible alternative, (in that they said all the right things). At the next general election both UKIP and the BNP will be much better placed to capitalise upon the shit state that 10 years of the Nu-Labour, (and now Nu-Nu-Labour), 'style' of popularist and agenda driven government has left the country in. 

Perhaps it's time we start thinking seriously about supporting Swindon-focused candidates in both local and National elections and putting our political umbrellas up against the disappointing and disloyal political drizzle that is leaving the people of Swindon damp, cold and unrepresented in Parliament.  This isn't helped by the good ship SBC being stocked almost to the gunwhales with herd animals who, (being simultaneously tempted with treasury carrots and beaten with Westminster sticks), have been instructed not to rock the boat by challenging or otherwise upsetting either MP.  Sad but true. 

We could have, or rather we should have two Labour MP's who are working with our Conservative led council for Swindons benefit.  What we actually have is a Conservative led council which is now afraid to challenge either MP for fear that the MP's will do even less on the towns behalf in Westminster, (if that's even possible!). In essence our MP's are leading our council by its collective snout to an appointment with the slaughterman, and not the promised trough of plenty.

As far as local democracy is concerned Swindon Borough Council is in imminent danger of becoming an irrelevance.  As long as one of the two MP's is permitted to wander around the civic offices on her own recognisance and instructing officers to do her bidding without reference to the local councillors and lead members concerned, the process of electing councillors and the proper functioning of an elected council is undermined and derogated.  Councils and MP's should be working together, but not in the roles of puppets and puppeteers.  Councillors and Councils should be able to challenge, argue and disagree with MP's, (and visa versa), yet all should rightfully expect each themselves and the others to put 100% of their effort into doing the best for the people and town that elected them, and so far the council and the MP's are failing both the people of the Borough and the Borough itself.

Rod Bluh says that regeneration is about people, and I believe he means what he says.  So my question for Rod is: How do you regenerate peoples faith in Swindon politics and demonstrate that the Council is it's own master?   


 :popcorn:





Bloody hell Geoff.

Post of the decade.

I'm going to vote for you. Errrrr...will you be standing in North or South Swindon? Or was that me?  :-\
'Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimbal in the wabe

Offline Pandora

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2008, 09:44:20 AM »
Hi Geoff

This has got to be the most boring local election I have ever experienced.


Rod Bluh says that regeneration is about people, and I believe he means what he says.  So my question for Rod is: How do you regenerate peoples faith in Swindon politics and demonstrate that the Council is it's own master?



What a quality question/quote you put at the end of your post.
Its so true and has a certain ring to it. I think it says it all.

                                                                                 Pandora  >:D >:D
http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.

Dick Norman

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2008, 09:55:41 AM »
Yes Pandora  >:D >:D but what is the answer to Geoff's Question? 

I think we may have to wait a long time for an answer if indeed we ever get one!!


Offline Alex

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2008, 10:36:03 AM »



Rod Bluh says that regeneration is about people, and I believe he means what he says.  So my question for Rod is: How do you regenerate peoples faith in Swindon politics and demonstrate that the Council is it's own master?


or that at any point the council will take the slightest bit of notice of what the people of swindon actually say they want, not just the developers.

Offline Peter Mallinson

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2008, 02:54:27 PM »
I have been reading this thread with interest and feel that I must give a reply.

Some local councillors work very hard for their wards and for the people of Swindon in general.  Amongst that group are people who just get on with the job and people who are more vocal but still very dedicated.

There are also some councillors who do what they can but are limited in the hours they have to give.  All of them from all parties should be encouraged and supported for doing a job that few people are prepared to do.

There are also some who do not come up to expectations or who do not appear to put a lot into the job, these are the people that the electorate have the choice to remove on May 1st, but because of low turnouts approx (34%) this does not happen.

With the details that have been published on Talkswindon over the last few months there is no excuse for not being aware of who they are.

Bit of a ramble but I needed to get it off my chest.

Offline Pandora

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2008, 03:48:28 PM »
Hi Peter

I have been reading this thread with interest and feel that I must give a reply.

Some local councillors work very hard for their wards and for the people of Swindon in general.  Amongst that group are people who just get on with the job and people who are more vocal but still very dedicated.

There are also some councillors who do what they can but are limited in the hours they have to give.  All of them from all parties should be encouraged and supported for doing a job that few people are prepared to do.

There are also some who do not come up to expectations or who do not appear to put a lot into the job, these are the people that the electorate have the choice to remove on May 1st, but because of low turnouts approx (34%) this does not happen.

With the details that have been published on Talkswindon over the last few months there is no excuse for not being aware of who they are.

Bit of a ramble but I needed to get it off my chest.



Yes you are quite right in what you are saying, and yes I do agree.
At the end of the day councillors are people, and yes just as no two people are the same, no two councillors are the same either.
There are those who work bloody hard to get results, and also those who do the best they can within the time they are able to commit.
And there are also those who maybe a little inexperienced and need to learn the ropes so to speak, and then there are those who are 'work shy', (do a good job in the run up to an election and once elected the enthusiasm starts to wane).

There are also the people, now many communities have various groups/forums and committees that local people belong to as they want to make where they live a good place to live. Many of them organise various fundraising activies and events, work with councillors to sort out various issues that affect the community. These people also do a sterling job and at the end of the day its about working together to achieve, resolve and make the communities where we live safer, nicer, cleaner, and make sure that the most vulnerable are looked after and to educate the next generation and provide activities etc for the kids in hope they stay out of trouble.

I dont think it matters what political party councillors are from, to me if who ever is elected cares about the ward and the people they represent, and they have good people skills and listen, and are honest with themselves and the people they serve, then that goes a very long way in my book.

Maybe more people would be able to become councillors if the rules were changed: e.g :You cannot stand for election if:

'You hold a paid office of
employment made or con
firmed by the Council you
wish to stand for'.

The rest of the rules are here: http://www.swindon.gov.uk/you_want_to_b_a_councillor41-2.pdf
Now If i wanted to become a councillor I couldnt simply because SBC pay my wages - I work in a school as a special needs teacher, yet if I still worked at the same school doing the same job as I do now, but I was employed by an agency who paid my wages, then I could.

Will they ever change that rule I wonder??
If so, maybe more people would come forward.
Also if you are in paid office/employement for the council you wish to stand for, who pays the elected councillors the allowance they get??
Is it the same council they stand for? I am not clued upon this, but it would be interesting to know.

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Offline Keith

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2008, 08:23:01 PM »
Rod Bluh says that regeneration is about people, and I believe he means what he says.  So my question for Rod is: How do you regenerate peoples faith in Swindon politics and demonstrate that the Council is it's own master?
or that at any point the council will take the slightest bit of notice of what the people of swindon actually say they want, not just the developers.

Geoff, why not raise your question with Rod at the next Open Cabinet Forum on the 16th of April? Alternatively you can put a question forward at full Council on the 24th of April. The man is open, honest and sincere as you probably know from speaking to him before.

Most Councillors stand through a genuine desire to serve the community. As a serving member of the planning committee I can assure you Alex that we have no allegiance to any developers. Numerous schemes have been refused due to poor design, inadequate parking, potential flood risk etc.. when the recommendation from officers in line with Government Policy is that we should grant permission.

To answer Pandora the Councillor allowance is paid by SBC payroll the same as it is for employees.

Dick Norman

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2008, 08:55:40 PM »
 O0 O0

Interesting suggestion Keith, I am sure that Geoff will want to take it up!!

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2008, 09:32:42 PM »
Hi Keith

To answer Pandora the Councillor allowance is paid by SBC payroll the same as it is for employees.

Thank you for clarifying this.
So in theory then, Councillors are infact in paid office for the council in which they stand. I know it is an allowance, but it is still a payement, so therefore, why would one not be allowed to stand for council just because they happen to be paid by SBC because of his/her job ?
It doesnt make sense.
Can you enlighten me further with this please Keith or anyone in the know, I would be very greatful

                                     Many Thanks

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2008, 10:49:55 PM »

Geoff, why not raise your question with Rod at the next Open Cabinet Forum on the 16th of April? Alternatively you can put a question forward at full Council on the 24th of April. The man is open, honest and sincere as you probably know from speaking to him before.


I think Rod is open, honest and sincere. I also think he's lost his way slightly and has been backed into a corner somewhat by Swindons MP's.
 
I have been giving this some thought....for almost 12 months. If I decide to revisit this publicly the appropriate time would be at the Mayor making. You might recall last years Mayor making as being the last time I asked the leader of the council a question concerning the condition of democracy and inter-party behaviour in the Borough.

At the time Rod made all the right noises, then subsequently did all the wrong things, offering the flimsiest of justifications before quietly re-adjusting the carpet and stoically ignoring the elephant in the room, or more accurately, the elephant in the chair.

No, a quiet and un-minuted open cabinet forum is not the appropriate venue for questions such as these, they should be answered very publicly, and heard by as many people as possible.....but lets see if Rod is re-elected before I raise his blood pressure again   :)


Offline Provocateur

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2008, 09:34:12 AM »
Quote
Numerous schemes have been refused due to poor design

.... like the 17 story erection soon to be probing the skyline on the Old College site? (6 floors higher than the existing monstrosity)


Offline PAV

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Re: Swindon Lad on the Local Election - 'Not Interested'
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2008, 10:10:58 AM »
I see that Swindon's mayor, the announcer said his name was Michael something, was enjoying the hospitality of Swindon speedway last night. I assume he was the bloke wearing the gold chains.