Lewes Forum thread

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ESCC Elections 2 May ....continued

On 30 Apr 2013 at 7:47pm Phfellow2004 wrote:
OK Sylvia. I have not tried to encourage folk to vote for any particular party nor wished to enter into any debate about their policies or aspirations. All I have wanted to emphasise is that our County Council Elections are all about the good governance of the County Council which touches all of our lives every day one way or another. Any other frustrated feelings about national issues like the EU, Immigration etc. can be easily vented at a later date but not satisfied by those Councillors who are elected to manage our local services in E Sussex for the next 4 years!
On 30 Apr 2013 at 7:55pm Xplorer1 wrote:
Good to see a serious, impassioned debate on the Forum. Excellent points being made all round. Thanks to everyone contributing.
On 30 Apr 2013 at 8:34pm Bored of local politics wrote:
There are many excellent posts made. I hope Matt Kent and Gaby Weiner come to answer the challenges rather than just respond to supportive posts, and Sylvia, county councils do set council tax and wages for their employees so there is nothing misleading or disingenuous. Labour and the Greens both say they will set a living wage for council employees as the Greens have already done this in Brighton and Labour have already done it in London, and keeping council tax low is one of the justifications being used by other parties for making cuts. So all parties are guilty if you think it is outside council remit to do either, though your understanding in that is incorrect I'm afraid.
On 30 Apr 2013 at 8:34pm Alfie Stirling wrote:
Just read through the other postings, good discussion being had. I wanted to quickly respond to Sylvia.
All the policies that the Green Party put forward for these elections are achievable at county level. The Council Tax reform would be implemented through a provision of the Localism Act that allows Councils to issue discretionary discounts. A system is being developed right now by Brighton City Council in corroboration with the New Economics Foundation to reform Council Tax so that a majority of people would see a net reduction, with higher income households contributing more (scaled up gradually in line with earnings). It is estimated that the models being discussed would raise between £60-£100 million in additional revenues each year for East Sussex -- enough to completely reverse the cuts to services proposed by the Tories and to invest in the economy and jobs.
The living wage campaign is to make the County Council, who employs over 3000 people, a living wage employer. But it also includes an ongoing campaign to work with local chambers of commerce and large consortia to implement a living wage in the private sector too.
I am sorry if you assumed that the policies were implausible, they are radical and new but they are entirely possible with the right political will. If anyone would like to know more details about the above or any of our other election pledges please feel free to drop me an email and I will respond as quickly as possible.
Alfie (alfie.stirling@greenparty.org.uk)
On 30 Apr 2013 at 9:03pm bazm wrote:
Matt Kent for me. Hes been very helpful over a couple issues. Lib Dems - well you're going to suffer for giving us Lord snooty and his extremely rich pals.
On 30 Apr 2013 at 10:00pm Nevil Rook wrote:
Is it only me or does Alfie Sterling remind you of William Pitt the younger in Blackadder ?
On 30 Apr 2013 at 10:43pm Ed Can Do wrote:
While we're on the subject of employment (Sort of), will any of the prospective councillors posting here give us some reassurance that they will take to task poor performance amongst council employees? I don't mean having a go at bin men, I mean jogging on whatever numpty made such a mess of moving the crossing outside the Elly and having a word with whoever decided that painting needless yellow lines all over Malling was a better use of the roads budget than filling in the monstrous potholes all over the place. Also, when a planning officer is waving through developments that an independent board says are completely inappropriate, does that not get mentioned at that planning officer's next performance review?

The root of many of our problems locally is not necessarily our councillors, it's the idiotic managers at County Hall, so many of whom seem totally out of their depth in their jobs. To be fair, none of our councillors do anything about it and that makes them complicit in the failure.

Rather than listening to what the various pamphlets say, I'll be voting based on past actions, stuff I can see in action, as it's easy to spout what you think people want to hear in you literature, much harder to back it up with action.

Matt Kent has worked hard to stop the awful development in Malling amongst other things, that for me is a proven track record of actually getting involved in local issues. Merlin Milner was instrumental in keeping the parking scheme out of Malling and will get a vote from me for LDC for that if nothing else, despite the many failings of his party colleagues. Ros StP wasn't interested when I contacted her about the parking scheme in Malling and according to the last Libdem newsletter, her main concerns are opposing a road in Hastings that's already being built and doing a spot of gardening around town, along with reminding everyone that apparently only the Libdems can beat the Tories here, a fallacy that they insist on spouting despite it displaying a complete lack of understanding of how democracy works. There's literally nothing in her pre-election spiel that makes me think she'll do anything to make my life better.

I got the Labour leaflet today. Apparently they're going to create a county with equality of opportunity and help local businesses thrive. I must be missing a page though because nowhere in the stuff I've got does it say how they're actually going to do this. There are clues though, they say that free schools are destroying state education, they say the working conditions of teachers are under attack and they say the "Bedroom tax" and benefit cuts are hitting hard working families. So Labour want to spend money, what a surprise! Who's going to pay for it? Probably those of us who are hard working families but not in receipt of any form of benefits. Basically, the whole thing is full of empty promises and no substance. Also there's a laughable graph suggesting that "Labour can win here" because they got about the same number of votes as everyone else in the PCC elections 25 people bothered voting in.

The UKIP stuff is all about how awful it'll be when the population of Romania and Bulgaria up sticks and move here next year to take our jobs. You can't really take them seriously after reading even the first paragraph or so.

I just wish whoever produces all this junk would give up on peddling the same old rubbish, either offering empty promises with no substance or bleating on about national issues which aren't relative to local elections. Just give us the name of your candidate and tell us some actual things they're planning on doing to improve the lot of local people, simple as that and probably far, far cheaper to produce...
On 1 May 2013 at 8:37am SpeedoNot wrote:
Ed Can Do. Perfect reply, well done. All the parties think nationally and have no clue about local issues or how to deal with them. The Greens are barking mad (look at Brighton). Independents are toothless. Its all to do with the people who work for the councils. They make the rules and trample over everybody who dares to complain. The problem is that they set their own boundaries and political parties can do little about it. The only way to get round that is to start with a very clean slate!
On 1 May 2013 at 9:12am Bored of local politics wrote:
How are the Greens in Brighton barking mad? Rational verifiably true evidence please!
On 1 May 2013 at 12:18pm Clifford wrote:
'The root of many of our problems locally is not necessarily our councillors, it's the idiotic managers at County Hall, so many of whom seem totally out of their depth in their jobs. To be fair, none of our councillors do anything about it and that makes them complicit in the failure.'
Too right Ed. Councillors are supposed to be our eyes and ears keeping tabs on what full-time officers are doing and giving management a political steer. I never see much sign of that.
On 1 May 2013 at 1:13pm Nevil Rook wrote:
Borough elections.
Latest poll from the ukip loving Express.
On 1 May 2013 at 8:00pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Just to remind you- You will tomorrow be electing unpaid councillors who are ordinary people who will set the policy on how things will be run in East Sussex. They may be supporters of the national political parties; but that can be a good thing, as we then know their point of view.
The paid County Hall staff are supposed to apply no political feelings to their work, but carry out what the democratically elected councillors wish them to do.
The main thing is to get out and exercise your vote tomorrow, so you can have a say in what happens in your county.
On 1 May 2013 at 9:37pm Nevil Rook wrote:
"You will tomorrow be electing unpaid councillors who are ordinary people" Very wrong on both counts !

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