|Sudbury Town Hall|
I was very pleased to read the article about my election to Sudbury Town Council in the Suffolk Free Press. The journalist, Ian Parker, managed to extract the main points from my disconnected ramblings very well. I was delighted to be elected, and have already had a constructive meeting with Jacqui Howells, the efficient Town Clerk. There is a lot to do, it is good to keep a toe in the 'local government' water, and I think the next two years will be interesting ones both for me and for the town.
Despite the fact that Christmas intervened with the timetable, and the weather was very cold, the election felt like the ‘real thing’. The competition from other parties was quite fierce and it was good that almost all of them took the time to get round the town to try to engage residents. It is sad that the turn-out was so low. The lack of polling cards and the time of year has been blamed. Additionally, maybe it is optimistic to hope that working people will take the time to go out to vote on a cold winter evening. However, even a good proportion of those receiving postal votes did not fill them in. I do wonder why this is. Is it just a feeling that politicians aren’t worth voting for? Or is it the sign of a deeper malaise?
I share the view of the young councillor from Great Cornard, who was featured on the front page of the newspaper this week. We really must do more to encourage people to engage in the democratic process. It is not a perfect system but it is certainly the best one that there is.