It’s Election Time. Don’t vote and you’ll get the councillor you deserve.
Local elections are always overshadowed by a general election, and Teresa May’s snap election on June 8th will inevitably mean that Thursday May 4th’s County Council and District Council elections will attract a low turnout for some fairly unimpressive candidates.
All have fought a dismal, low key, flaccid campaign. Actually “fought” is a wild overstatement. It hasn’t even been a skirmish.
First, the County Council election.
Incumbent William Wallace is defending a 745 majority for the Conservatives against UKIP, which came second last time round. The result will be interesting, since UKIP is not putting up a candidate. Will he take the UKIP vote, or will they go elsewhere?
The choice is not very exciting, as far as we can see from any of the candidates’ public profiles. Your editor had to ferret about for these on the internet, since NONE of the candidates have bothered to communicate with the electorate, not even through simple leaflets, websites or facebook pages.
Even the Blackmore Vale Magazine missed out two of the candidates in their pre-election coverage.
So we will have to judge them by what they say about themselves (which is very little) on Facebook and other websites
Oliver DOWDING, Green Party.
A farmer for 40 years and the Green Party’s agricultural spokesman. Lives in Shepton Montague. His farming seems to be mainly grass and arable, so he will have plenty of time for council work. He will need it, as he is standing in both elections, just like 2 of the other candidates, so he can trouser two sets of allowances and expenses. Nice work
Sara DYKE Liberal Democrat
Currently the South Somerset District Councillor for Milborne Port, who ousted previous incumbent Lucy Wallace, wife of the aforementioned William, in last year’s election by just 1 vote. Her other job is working for an EU-funded grant-making body designed to bribe taxpayers with their own money, and which seems mired in bureaucracy. A third salary from the public purse will come in handy. Not much on her Facebook page unless you like tattoos.
William WALLACE Conservative
Is the incumbent Conservative County Councillor and also one of the District Council’s Conservative Councillors. He sits on the Cabinet of SCC. Despite his implausibly young photograph in the Blackmore Vale Magazine, he claims to have lived in the area for 30 years. No policy statement, but at least you can talk to him in the pub from time to time.
No Facebook, and only one sentence on the Conservatives’ website.
Michael YIANNI, Labour Party
He claims that by voting Labour you won’t be voting for more cuts in council services, but instead voting to improve and strengthen our communities. Back to bribing us with our own money then.
He also believes in social justice, but don’t we all?
His Facebook page has been completely redacted. You have to be a friend before you can see it. We wonder what he’s hiding?
Winterborne Longjohns betting odds
Wallace 3/1, Dowding, 4/1 Dyke 9/2, Yianni 100-1
South Somerset District Council By Election
This election is to find a replacement for the much-respected and badly-missed Tim Inglefield, who died tragically on 27th February. Your editor was approached to stand and allowed his name to go forward, only to be turned down by the selection committee. Much to his relief, and, we suspect, that of the community at large.
Grahame BAKER Liberal Democrat.
Grahame’s Facebook profile demonstrates he has a beard, is a Liberal Democrat and not much else.
Hayward BURT Conservative.
Hayward went to Sexey’s School and was at least born in Horsington. It appears he once stood in Stroud, but came second. That’s all we know. Oh, and he lives in Templecombe.
Oliver DOWDING Green Party
Another aspirant “double hatter”, as they are known. Actually he seems like a decent bloke, but the tendency of councillors to try and grab extra allowances by sitting on two councils is not welcome, leads to conflicts of interest and is the best argument we know for a single local authority for Somerset.
Most voters (and we suspect many of the councillors) are completely confused about which authority does what. Local services are mainly dictated by central Government policy anyway. The poor local authorities have to put up with it and pretend to be important.
Winterborne Longjohns betting odds:
Burt 2/1, Baker 7/2, Dowding 4/1
Verdict: A bit like a 3-horse race on a deserted wet Thursday at Wincanton Races. Keep your money in your pocket.
BUT DO VOTE! PLEASE!
If the candidates wish to post anything, we will happily accommodate them – There are 2 days to go and everything to play for – Ed