Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Sidmouth Town and District council elections > tomorrow: Thursday 2nd May > "The local battle is largely between Conservatives and independents, so keep an eye on that."

There has been a lot of comment about how well or badly-received local election candidates have been over the last weeks of canvassing and hustings:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Town and District council elections > HUSTINGS event > "Contributing to an awareness of the upcoming elections and the importance of voting."
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Town and District council elections > "less than a week to go"

Including these comments - from independents:
Independent Councillor Susie Bond (Feniton) on her canvassing experiences | East Devon Watch
Conservatives poised to lose control of East Devon District Council tomorrow for the first time - Claire Wright

And from the New Statesman:

Results come in from East Devon, where in the parliamentary seat Claire Wright, an independent, has a fighting chance of winning ahead of the Conservatives. The local battle is largely between Conservatives and independents, so keep an eye on that. 

What to look out for in the 2019 local elections - New Statesman

And from the Conservative Home site:

ElaineT· 1 day ago·
In fact I am hoping that those who do lose their seats down here are some of the reprehensible beggars that thought they were too good to be approved and re-selected. One of them actually said 'and who do you think you are to decide on whether I can stand again'.... clearly he had no idea where the Association concerned fitted in to his position on the council!
The downside of them not being returned is losing councils... the upside is rebuilding with different attitudes. Many of these people have only ever fought elections since 2007 when the mood music for Conservatives was positive, now we have to fight. Many, many of our councillors and Associations have been out campaigning for a long time and deserve to win... but quite a few haven't.
If we are really determined to rebuild, it will involve peacetime campaigning over the summer... I hope we do a lot more of that.

LeftistTory· 1 day ago
Again I agree.
My constituency has a 22,000 Tory majority and 31 of the 36 seats on the district council. Yet branches have collapsed to the extent that the bluest area has none at all.

ElaineT· 1 day ago
I tell my people that losing branches is losing the roots and without the roots, the Tory tree will die. We nurture the roots.

ExToryAgent· 1 day ago
Then the Party needs to start funding and training professional agents again and try and reinstate the organization that worked so well before...

declutterdevon· 1 day ago
You are quite right, Elaine. Branch membership has dwindled significantly and the quality of Conservative councillors has inevitably declined. Effectively, there is no selection process: anyone can be a Tory councillor simply be being prepared to do it.
I think the big story in the locals will be the success of Independents, and I think we may see a sustained increase in their representation. Its not just at national level that people are tired of party politics. In my area, the independent councillors are far better: more intelligent, more active and often nicer.

ElaineT· 1 day ago
Independents are a huge problem, devoted to preventing development with little else to say for themselves, you are never sure what you are going to get from them. Promises of 'I promise to represent you better' is not the same as 'if elected, I would like to achieve.... this, that and the other, working with a prudent Conservative council'.

Mark_A_Oliver· 1 day ago
Epsom and Ewell Borough has been run by Epsom and Ewell Residents Association since 1937. Do they fit your Nimby independent agenda too?
Other independents like Lincolnshire Independents and Hersham/Walton Village Society have been around for years. Parties like R4GV in Guildford have started because the outlying villages have been appallingly treated by a massively incompetent Conservative council.
Its not all about opposing development. In my area of east Wiltshire you are going to see independents in 2021 (including me) because of the way that Wiltshire council treats this area, closing our recycling centres, axing our childrens services, selling off playing fields to developers and putting new ones in fields flooded half the year.
The reason Wiltshire Council does this? Because its a World Heritage site/AONB so they can't dump thousands of houses here so they are not interested precisely the opposite of your narrow focused Nimby suggestion.

ElaineT· 1 day ago
Not all of Wiltshire is a World Heritage site, is it?
In Guildford it is about Nimbism and in East Devon ditto.

Mark_A_Oliver· 1 day ago
Wiltshire Council covers a big area, about 1000 sq miles. Most of NW Wiltshire is in the AONB or Stonehenge/Avebury World Heritage sites. Marlborough is forgotten by Wiltshire Council apart from dumping on it for the reason that it cant build thousands of houses there so priority goes to Chippenham and Trowbridge.
I am quite familiar with Guildford and yes there is some anti-development feeling there. However, when 80K responses to the LP consultations are ignored. When development is geared towards profits for a Cayman Islands based investment company at Wisley and University of Surrey at the Hogs Back rather than re-generating and building more affordable housing near the town centre then you are going to get opposition. Or should those villages simply roll over and accept it.
I have a good friend who is a Guildford councillor. He has told me time and time again how he was opposed to the local plan, how it was being rammed through and he was not going to vote for it. On Thursday he voted for it. In the meantime he is making his plans to move away from the GBC area - the reason? Mass development in his area ...
If this is the sort of vote fodder hypocrite who represents the Tory party at local level then I will cheer on the likes of R4GV and GGG every inch of the way.

declutterdevon· 1 day ago
I don't think the upsurge in support for independents in East Devon is all about 'nimbyism': I'm sure they would argue that they are happy to see appropriate levels of development in suitable locations.
Its more about lack of transparency, vanity projects and incompetence. And a costly new HQ.
Even the Tory Leader of the Council has resigned from the Party and is now standing as an Independent. Their own Leader doesn't like them, it seems. 

Local elections: The Conservative/Lib Dem battlegrounds | Conservative Home

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