The District Council elections are now looming after what feels like the longest build-up ever.
This time round the atmosphere has been far more frenetic. I’ve been out leafleting and chatting to anyone who wanted to chat, but the cynicism on the doorstep is almost palpable.
I’m being told that everyone’s had enough of politics. No-one’s going to vote because apparently it doesn’t make any difference. Millions turned out to vote on their nation’s future, only to have the result of their vote largely ignored. Yes … dare I mention the word … it’s Brexit. I believe that the Brexit effect is likely to impact on the local council elections (2 May), both here in Feniton ward and across the country, with people turning their backs on the ballot box.
Whatever you feel about Brexit, the candidates standing in the District Council elections are there because they want to do the very best for their communities. This is your opportunity to express your opinion … and it’s certain that if you don’t vote, nothing will change.
One kind supporter suggested that Claire Wright and I could resolve the Brexit negotiations on our own. Apart from banging heads together, I’m not sure how!
On my first day on the stump, I met a gentleman who asked me what I was doing. When I explained, he said he didn’t trust any of the councillors because they are all corrupt and had I seen the size of their cars at the Council HQ! I told him that I drive a 03 reg VW Polo … and he responded that my bank account must be bulging. I thought it was rather a depressing exchange!
I met a sweet dog when I was out last week. It was a Poodle Shih Tzu cross and her delightful owner said that the combined name was rather tricky for her. The dog barked at me as I opened the gate, barked at me as I walked down the drive and barked at me as I put my leaflet on the door mat, as the door was ajar. I turned and walked back to the gate, only to discover the dog at my heels, in silence because my leaflet was clamped between her jaws. She looked at me with great disgust and dropped the leaflet at my feet. I felt that if dogs could vote, this one shared the general disenchantment of the electorate and would not be turning up to the polling station!
Elections are always a time of anticipation and change, but the bombshell which has landed at this 11th hour is that the excellent Tory councillor, Ian Thomas, Leader of East Devon District Council, has resigned the Party Whip and is now standing in the forthcoming election as an Independent. The Independent Group is delighted that he’s turned his back on party politics. Unsurprisingly, the Conservatives remain tight-lipped on the subject.
The last full East Devon District Council meeting was on Wednesday evening and apart from a planning meeting next week (complete with 400 page agenda), it’s full steam ahead to the election on Thursday!
Numerous kind people have offered support throughout the election period as well as help on the day. I cannot begin to express how immensely grateful I am to them for their encouragement.
If you live in Feniton, your polling station is the Sports & Social Club in the village. If you live in Buckerell, you can vote at Doug’s Shed (Splatthayes) and if you live in Gittisham, your polling station is the Village Hall.
The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. on Thursday 2 May, so hopefully everyone will have ample time to have their say.