Tuesday, 22 May 2007

New kid on the block

Within five minutes of being elected for the first time, officers from the Democratic Services Department of the Council pounce on me, thrusting a welcome pack in my hands, including a huge document that turns out to be the Constitution of the Council. People I've never met before call me Councillor Barker: very unnerving!
I sign something - God knows what - and now I'm a Councillor.

The Count goes on for some time, with several recounts in wards the Conservatives would have won if they had any idea how to run an election campaign. After several hours it is clear that, despite having their majority slashed in wards which they usually win without trying, the Labour Party has retained an overall majority.

A real opportunity to throw them out has been lost. The Lib Dems have increased to 5, from 1 just three years ago. In addition, Steve Jones, standing as an Independent Liberal Democrat, was also elected. The Conservatives really lost a golden opportunity. As a party which wants to retake power in Westminster, they showed that, in our region, they cannot even muster enough candidates to fight across the Borough, and they failed to support those candidates who could have won new seats. They do not come across as a united local party. I really don't think they've yet read the first paragraph of the Conservative Central Office's Guide to Winning Local Elections.

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