Up until 8th May, there had been Lib Dems in national government for five years and a Lib Dem led administration in Brentwood. Then, along came the general election, the politics of fear and we are almost wiped out in government (although we are busy rebuilding with 18,000 new members and, as of Thursday, a new leader – who I hope will be Tim Farron) and Brentwood goes blue. Again.
But what that has left me with is, not just a sense of pride that we did good things in government and at Brentwood Council, but also a knowledge – from my year as part of a council administration – that things can be done differently.
This hit home to me this week as the Brentwood Tories gaily sold off The Old House, backtracking on the Accord’s rescue plan. Our plan generated ongoing income to the council over the years after all, we will be bankrupt in about five years if we don’t start generating income. This is what Cllr Louise McKinlay said, as quoted in the Brentwood Gazette as she talked of the Conservatives’ poor record over ten of the previous eleven years:
“Did we do anything around income generation. No.”
Conservative Leader of Brentwood Council, Cllr Louise McKinlay…whom is entrusted with your money…”
But of course, it doesn’t stop at this.
Ward budgets and community funding have been slashed
More good officers will be losing their jobs
The borough bulletin will be scrapped
There will be no robust programme for apprentices
Free food recycling bags will not be distributed
….and I don’t suspect this will be the end of it.
Which brings me on to Cllr McKinlay’s pal David Cameron and his pal George Osborne. If you are poor or in need – or just a hard working single parent – then don’t expect to do well out of this. I already know that one hardworking, single mum who is going to be a whopping £1,600 a year worse off thanks to Dave and George. This would not have happened if the Lib Dems were still holding them back in government.
Sounds like THIS is coming true…..
But again, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Fox hunting will make a return to our countryside soon…..there’s nothing more British than having hundreds of toffs on horseback with hounds chasing after a fox to rip limb from limb is there? Appalling behaviour.
So, as I look back on my (almost) ten years in politics and all its ups and downs, I am comfortable with the fights I have fought. One thing that always worried me was whether I/we would do anything different if we were in control and it certainly is of comfort to look back and conclude that yes, it can be done differently and for the benefit of the people you represent.
There’s more to come in the next few weeks, I have at least two more exposes to reveal but as my term of office comes to an end in ten months it is time for me to consider whether I have had enough of local politics of whether it is time to walk away.
I have considered both options very carefully and have come to a conclusion. Is this fight worth it? Keep this sort of fox-hunting, people-hurting, democracy destroying politics at bay?
YOU BET IT IS!
Thursday 5th May 2016 – LET’S DO THIS!
Be part of my campaign – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org