Recently I have had a lot more involvement with our local councillors than I normally would because of the problems with our lack of progress on health facilities in our ward. I must say I have had a lot of support particularly from David & Joyce. David especially, who has beavered away to get political support for Tanhouse from within the labour group. When needed the Tories turned up to support the campaign but I think it is only fair to say their support has been placid. The reality I suppose is that they and other Liberals represent neighbouring wards and their priorities are different. It leaves me with some concerns though over the future of the NHS under the Tories. Can they be trusted with NHS when the talk is of massive cuts in public spending next year? Health care will be a major issue at next years elections both locally and nationally and I will be happy to post my thoughts on who to trust.
This got me to thinking about the bigger picture and how we are represented at local level. All our local councillors live in our ward. Their surgery times are advertised well and I guess they are known to the electorate in much the same way I know them. They all make a contribution to the ward. I have always believed that our councillors should live in the ward they represent and I don’t think I have ever voted for a candidate who lived outside the ward. Conspicuous by her absence at the lobby of our MP was the defeated Liberal candidate from the last but one election who might be considering standing again next time. This issue of living in the ward is the difference between the chicken and pig in bacon and eggs. The chicken is involved the pig is committed. If they live in the ward and things do go wrong they suffer with the rest of us. This theory to me applies to our MPs also. Our MP used to live in the constituency but I understand now lives next door.
The biggest concern for me though is councillors who live in our ward but represent other wards on our council. I don’t know how they all organise local branch/group meeting to discuss local issues but at these meetings their loyalties must be stretched in favour of the ward they represent and not the ward they live in. I see little involvement with some of these and certainly I see no visible support for our clinic campaign. Shame on them. If any of my analysis is incorrect please tell me and I will be delighted to correct my error. Perhaps it's time to change the rules on candidates.