Monday, May 5, 2008

Working hard, achieving results, and listening to residents

So the Tunbridge Wells Borough elections are over. A short - it was only three weeks this year - campaign, then suddenly it was Election Day.

There's no doubt national politics played a significant part; Nick Clegg's "superstud" confessions (or was it more literary than literal?) in GQ Magazine; Gordon Brown's knee-jerk handling of the ten percent tax rate; even Boris Johnson's mayoral campaign, these were all issues on the doorsteps.

Locally, the Borough Council's plan to close public conveniences and impose Sunday charges in our car parks, added to the usual concerns about roads, pavements, litter and graffiti.

But on the night, the residents of Tunbridge Wells made their point.

Labour and UKIP, despite fielding strong candidates in many wards, failed to make any gains. Even in those wards where absence of a Labour candidate created a 'two horse race', the Liberal Democrats lost three seats in their strongest areas - Capel, St John's and Rusthall as I recall, though nothing's out on the web yet - and their majority was torn in half in St James'.

Democracy is an interesting thing - over the years all the parties have tried technology-based campaigning; have bussed in resources from out of area; even, in the Liberal Democrats case employed out and out slurs and lies about their opposition, sticking to their old campaign manual "stirring endlessly" and "lying shamelessly".

But when all's said and done, there's no substitute for working hard, achieving results, and listening to residents.

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