If you want a functional local council - voting party political is not enough.
It is so very important to actually know who your local candidates are. Take for example Dane Valley Ward:
Of the candidates that are standing in Dane Valley half are from outside the area.
The local candidates are:
- Matt Brown
- Louise Mary Frances Drelaud
- John Martin Edwards (Seeking re-election)
- Gary James Taylor
To be fair on Paul Millis, the Conservative candidate, he only lives in St Peters which is very close to Dane Valley.
John Edwards was elected as district councillor for Dane Valley in 2011 by a wide margin and is seeking to be elected again.
Louise Drelaud previously stood in another ward.
I can find nothing out about Gary Taylor nor what he stands for personally.
Obviously I know Matt Brown very well as that is me. I know, for example, that I really care about Dane Valley but do the rest of Dane valley know this (one hopes they do now).
The candidates that are actually likely to do something worthwhile for you, to actually represent you, in that ward come from a number of parties.
How often do you think the candidates from Westbrook or Birchington even come to Dane Valley? How many of those candidates do you think even know what the Sure Start Centre does or that we are facing the loss of the King George Pub? How many of them have ever visited Windmill Community Allotments? Have any of the outsider candidates witnessed the problems we face in Dane Valley first hand?
In fact how do we know that those candidates have ever even been to Dane Valley?
On voting day the parliamentary elections are the best place to make Party Political votes whereas the District and Parish (Town Council) votes make the difference between a local council that does something worthwhile and a local council that remains corrupt, secretive and unfair.
You can choose.