There are two major things that stifle democratic decision making at local authority level, not only in Poole Council but in councils throughout the country. The first is the ludicrous cabinet system that was introduced by Blair back in 2000 and the second is party politics. When the council make a decision it is not just for any particular party membership, it is for the whole community, regardless of their political persuasion. So isn’t it obvious that party politics at local level will always create conflicts which lead to bad decisions being made.
In 2011 the government introduced the Localism Act, this gave people a much greater opportunity to influence decision making within their own constituencies but unfortunately not that many people around fully realise just how powerful that act can be. This is partly because most people have enough to deal with in their daily lives to even have time to look at politics and put their trust in those they elect to do the right thing by them. Unfortunately that is rarely the case today.
If people knew the true power they have I am sure that things would be a whole lot better for us all. My aim is to ensure as many people do know and that can only be achieved through good communication, the downside is I have less than nine months to do it. In 2015, on May the 7th, the polling booths will open for both the Local and National elections and this is when people hold the most power, the decision they make on the ballot papers will affect us all for the next five years nationally, I really cannot stress enough the importance of making your vote count.
Personally, I will be voting UKIP on the national vote, even though I have thrown the towel in with the party, for me it is still the only party offering political change. Voting Lab/Con/Lib will be simply voting for more of the same and I really don’t want more of the same, so I’m voting for change. UKIP cannot win, simply because of the first past the post system that we have to endure, which was put in place simply to ensure that we always have a two party system of politics in Britain. It will be a very long time before that ever changes.
Locally though, I will be standing as an Independent, I want to see the end of party politics at local level and I sincerely hope that others will do the same. At the moment here in Poole we have 16 wards with 42 councillors, the composition of Poole council is made up of 19 Conservative, 18 LibDem, 4 Poole People and 1 UKIP. Not one single independent councillor and yet if you really think about it, who would you rather have representing your best interests, an independent whose sole role is to represent those who elect him/her or a party politician whose judgement will always be split between the party and the people they represent? I know which I would rather have.
The hard part of all this of course is how best to achieve my aims and I would be a fool to think that this could ever be possible without the help of others. I certainly will not be asking people to walk the streets pushing unwanted leaflets through people’s letter boxes, that to me is one of the most annoying things at election times, only outdone by those annoying phone calls asking me who I intend to vote for, so I won’t be doing that either. The most important help I could get is peoples input, I need people with ideas that really want to improve the community we live in and of course I will also need other people to stand as independent councillors to help remove party politics from council, that is one task I definitely cannot do by myself. The sharing of ideas and information is easy and I have already created ‘My Better Community’ the website can be seen at www.mbc-services.co.uk There is also a Facebook page and Twitter account for people who use them, accessable throught he website.
I do honestly believe that communication is the key to success, especially in politics and the problem we have today is the total lack of communication at both local and national levels. I am trying to change that and I hope that many others will get on board with me in that endeavour. Let’s make a difference…. In our own community.