I was sorry to see that Clive Hart and Iris Johnson were unsuccessful in last weeks county elections but pleased to see Michael Jarvis and Chris Wells elected.
Had the vote been the other way round my sentiments would have been the same. As you might guess or not my politics are middle of the road, so its a pity that KCC will be unfettered by a strong opposition, still perhaps with a greater representation of Conservatives from the East Kent in Maidstone, perhaps we could hope to see our money spent in the east of the county.
In local politics those who take the trouble to get involved are generally thoroughly decent people as is certainly the case for the those mentioned at top of this piece.
As an indicator I’m taking the liberty of publishing Clive Harts email (a regular reader of Bignews Margate, least that what he tells me, whenever we meet) sent to friends and colleagues, now I’m probably not fit for public office since if I’d just lost my seat my email would probably start something along the lines of “You ungrateful B……..”
Dear friend & colleague
I'm no longer a County Councillor but our election in Margate & Cliftonville Division at KCC was quite a close thing, which, given the events of last week, was quite an achievement in itself. It's not a nice feeling at all being made to pay for others mistakes, especially when many of the MP's expense excesses were cross party and all from outside of our area. As I told people on the doorstep throughout the elections, any of those that have taken advantage are absolutely despicable and no-one is more angry than me about their behaviour.
A big, big thank you to all who sent me good wishes before and after the event. My wife tells me that for some time on Saturday work at her hairdressing salon was held up through a constant stream of messages arriving from concerned residents by phone and in person. One customer, an elderly and lifelong Conservative who also turned out to vote for me, actually cried.
I was also heartened by the 2000+ voters who turned out to support both Cllr. Iris Johnston and myself in Margate & Cliftonville and if you were one of them - bless you!
However, it was business as usual on Saturday morning when I joined Linda & Doug (Cllrs. Aldred & Clark) at St. Paul's Community Centre in Cliftonville for our regular ward surgery. It was 'straight back in the saddle' in my District role helping local residents along with my wonderful Cliftonville West team - we just love it!
Believe it or not, my own life has been made much easier and a huge load has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm a big strong lad and I'll carry on regardless but I truly do fear for the town I love which is sadly not in such a strong position. Margate & Cliftonville is certainly not the thriving place it should be and it really does need local people who are passionate about the place to argue it's case at every given opportunity.
Ironically 'localism' has become the new buzzword at KCC and despite our residents electing two councillors last Thursday, for the next four years, Margate & Cliftonville will not have one representative at County Hall who actually lives in our town - that truly breaks my heart. Even the third member representing the Westbrook area (Margate West) lives in Ramsgate.
On Ramsgate, at least they got a Town Council out of the crazy events of last week. Once again Margate & Cliftonville is the looser!
On a brighter note, I now have time for a thoroughly detailed focus on two of my other major roles: As a ward councillor for Cliftonville West, one of the most challenging areas of Kent, and in my new position as the recently elected Thanet Labour Group Leader. On Saturday we had our ward surgery and continued our work supporting local residents and during the coming week, after a manic month of campaigning, I will finally get to move in to my new Opposition Leaders office at TDC.
JUST STAND BY - YOU AINT SEEN NOTHIN YET!
Very best wishes