Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Decision Time!

Polls open at 7am tomorrow (Thursday) for the County and European elections. Remember, you do not need you polling card to vote, just turn up at the polling station if you are on the register. Postal votes (carefully completed per the instructions) can be delivered to you usual polling station as it is now too late to post them - we have heard of some delays in the post so this will be your only chance to vote if you haven't yet sent back the postal vote form.

If you are reading this to help you decide which way to vote, here is some guidance!

Firstly, we are not asking you to take on trust that we are already involved in the big issues in Coleridge - we would urge you to browse the blog postings we have made over the last year to give you an idea of the areas we have been working, and the lines we have taken. Andrew Bower has been actively involved in many of these issues. In no particular order:

Scrutinising the Folk Festival ticket fiasco
Policing and general crime/antisocial behaviour
New mosque plans
Area Committees decision making

And many, many more local issues!

Back to the local elections in Coleridge. Our simple manifesto, Bowers Blueprint, outlines the key issues facing us locally at this election.

1. Keeping Council tax down  A real difference between Labour, who think government spending is the answer to everything, and the Conservatives who think the tax burden is already too high, and government spending must be brought under control.
2. No to a Cambridge congestion charge  Coleridge Conservatives have total opposition to congestion charging in Cambridge, a tax the government is trying to force on us, that will hit the poorest hard. Andrew will do all he can to stop this charge.
3. No to forcing Marshalls off the airport Labour's housing targets are trying to force Marshalls off the airport, with the rapid expansion of the City this would imply, the special character of Cambridge is at risk. Andrew wants the County Council to look forward to a possible Conservative government that will give local people a real say over the future development of Cambridge, and put these plans on hold.
4. A Conservative voice on the County Council - with no Conservatives from the City currently on the County Council, Andrew will be a really strong voice for action in Coleridge if elected.
5. Working hard for Coleridge We have a great track record of working hard in Coleridge ward. Your Labour candidate will have split loyalties, as Labour's parliamentary candidate in rural south Cambridgeshire.

And finally, if you get this far, a bit about the politics of these elections. Coleridge is a very close battle between Labour and the Conservatives. A vote for someone other than the Conservatives will risk Labour winning in Coleridge. UKIP have no chance of winning locally, so if you normally vote Conservative and decide to vote UKIP for some inexplicable reason, you will be more likely to end up with a Labour Councillor (and one who is currently also trying to become Labour MP for South Cambridgeshire, so is likely to have divided loyalties at least over the next year!). 

In Europe, the Conservative MEPs have a fantastic record of standing up for British interests. They are about to leave the EPP grouping, where many members favour the European constitutional treaty (Lisbon treaty) that Gordon Brown broke his election promise to hold a referendum on, and will form their own more eurosceptic grouping. UKIP think they might do well this time in the European elections - its hard to see why. Of the 12 UKIP MEPs elected last time, 1/3 have left or been expelled. One elected in the Eastern region last time has been charged with false accounting and money laundering, anther, Ashley Mote was found guilty of 21 counts of fraud and sent to jail. The ones that have avoided prison have a track record of voting against British interest in Europe, such as voting to allow French and Spanish trawlers fish in British protected waters. They are a truly bizarre choice of protest party for the European elections. 

Whatever you think of what we have to say, please make sure you do vote. It is a bit cliched but people have fought and died, and in some parts of the world still are fighting to bring democracy, the chance for everyone to decide who will govern us - this is your chance to take part. That said, I've know Andrew personally for a while, he is capable and motivated by the desire to do better for local residents. I think he will make a fantastic representative for Coleridge and I urge you to support him!

1 comment:

NickW said...

Anyone is better than UKIP. They milk the expenses for everything they can get and do nothing for their constituents. Farage is the worst of the lot with his £2 million expenses claim!

Whilst we are still in Europe we might aswell have MEP's who work for their pay.