Thursday 5 May 2005
Our challenge this morning has been trying to decide how to vote in the county council election. Labour aren’t really an option, as the council has only ever been either LibDem or Tory. The Tories are the current incumbents.
Having studied the literature, I can find hardly any differences in policy at a local level. The main one I have found is that the LibDems oppose the introduction of charges for local car parks, whereas the Tories would rather introduce them and reduce the Council Tax – either way, you end up paying for the car park somewhere. Also, there is a rather complicated argument about the local planning process which essentially boils down to the LibDems wanting to keep the existing cumbersome and expensive process or the Tories wanting to spend a lot of money to change it – either way, it ends up costing us somewhere.
On balance, we feel that it comes down to track record and, put crudely, the Tories have increased the Council Tax more slowly during their period in charge than the LibDems did when they were in charge. Services have also improved and a few niggling local issues seem to have been sorted out.
So, it looks like a split ballot for me – different Xs on each of the two papers. But at least I can feel safe in the knowledge that I’ve voted locally in the local election and nationally in the national election. I encourage you to do the same.
Oh, and another factor – only the Tory county council candidate bothered to visit Ruralville (or our home at least) – so we can be sure that he knows we exist out here.
UPDATE – H has been to the polling station already and caused quite a stir, being the only voter there and causing palpitations for the rather elderly polling station officers who clearly are not used to such glamour so early in the day! I’m on my way there now.