On 22 Jul 2010 at 6:10pm Arthur wrote:
I just got a lovely handwritten letter from John Stockdale, he sounds like a nice man and fancy going to all the trouble of writing to everyone by hand!
He even put his telephone number on it.
I'm not going to vote for him though because he wants a 20mph speed limit
On 22 Jul 2010 at 6:50pm TAFKAPS wrote:
I'm not going to vote for him because he's a pretend Tory as are all Lib Dems now, must be nice to have no scruples?!
On 22 Jul 2010 at 7:10pm Arthur wrote:
Actually I've just been down there to vote and realised John Stockdale was the only one I'd heard of so i changed my mind and voted to him.
On 22 Jul 2010 at 10:45pm Peter wrote:
good p***take I hope you know they print these handwritten letters! Stockdale - was Labour then indepedent now Liberal - what next ?! (No need to go Conservative he's already there)
On 23 Jul 2010 at 8:58am Smiler wrote:
On 23 Jul 2010 at 9:49am John Stockdale wrote:
I'm very flattered to have a thread named after me. Yes, Smiler, I did win. Yes, Arthur, you are quite right I didn't copy out my letter to you in my fair hand - but thanks for voting for me anyway. Yes, Peter, I was an active member of the Labour Party until I resigned some five or six years ago over the Iraq and Afghan Wars. Being a Lib Dem doesn't make me or anyone else a Tory. If you look at the Coalition Agreement you'll see there's more of the LIb Dem manifesto in it than the Conservative one. But anyway, the Coalition works only at national level and doesn't apply to local government.
On 23 Jul 2010 at 10:14am catlin wrote:
I don't think the Lib Dems have achieved anything forLewes at Town or District Level. The Officers seem to rule the roost here, and once elected, members seem to represent the officers rather than us. Or So it seems to me.
On 23 Jul 2010 at 10:32am Clifford wrote:
John Stockdale is a decent man who has done a lot for Lewes. I can't imagine he'll toe anyone's line as a councillor and will put the people he represents first. I hope we can look forward to some fireworks.
On 23 Jul 2010 at 10:52am Kevin wrote:
although he still appears deluded over the coalition, he seems to be suggesting that the Libdems are the main policy makers. I wonder where he stands on the impact of VAT rises on the people he represents or dealing with the consequences of massive cuts in his ward. While I respect his position over Iraq I for one question how someone who once believed in the labour policy set can now stand for a party that is is underpining the dismantling of every social service insight.
On 23 Jul 2010 at 11:05am Old Cynic wrote:
Town councillors have zero power and less influence!
On 23 Jul 2010 at 12:25pm Clifford wrote:
And what about District councillors, Old Cynic?
On 23 Jul 2010 at 4:36pm John Stockdale wrote:
Clifford, thanks for that. Kevin, yes VAT was one of the concessions the Lib Dems made in the Coalition agreement, I think. Perhaps it was the price for getting a £10,000 tax threshold. According to Peter Mandleson Labour planned to raise VAT to 19%. All major parties agree on tax increases and service cuts. It's just a case of when and where. Only the Greens have a different strategy: increase public expenditure and trade our way out of the recession. I'm not sure we can have much influence on the macro economy at town council level.
On 23 Jul 2010 at 5:32pm Kevsy wrote:
John, don't really care what Mandleson said - it is what the Lib Dems said that is important, and that is the opposite to what they/you are supporting now. Its is more than a case of when and where - it is about how. Clawing back funds through the most regressive tax around is not what the Lib Dems wanted or should have allowed.
The Tories are using this to roll out an ideology, the Lib Dems to enjoy a brief moment of power at the expense of any long term credibility. Other than the handfull that have swallowed the coalition pill the majority of Lib Dem voters I talk to feel sick the their stomach. 'Vote Norman - the only man who can keep the Tories out'.
I know you can't influence macro economy - but you get many of your votes because of the party you support. If it is all about you and what you do locally you should have stood as an independant
On 23 Jul 2010 at 6:10pm Old cynic wrote:
Clifford I reckon district councillors have some influence but power locally lies in the hands of county councillors but they are acting on the orders of central government.
On 23 Jul 2010 at 8:36pm jrsussex wrote:
A good start for this coalition would be to hand back some of the power to local Government that has been eroded in recent years. It is disgraceful, but a fact, that generally town councils have little or no power.
I have recently learned that if a planning application is approved by the designated planning officer and the town councillor for the related ward has no objection then the application does not go to committee it is approved, even when local people are objecting. Disgraceful in my opinion.
On 24 Jul 2010 at 10:43am John Stockdale wrote:
Kevsy, you are right VAT is a regressive tax and raising the rate is unfortunate. I suppose there will always be a divide between those of us who feel half a loaf is better than none and those who feel we are irretrievably compromised if we have to accept some policies we once opposed. But, doesn't the country deserve the strongest government the election result can deliver in these difficult times? In local government, of course, we aren't in a coalition with anyone. JRSussex, I think the Government is in the process of handing power back to local authorities. 'Localism' is a LD policy and I believe the Conservative and Labour manifestos also proposed to do this. The Coalition Government has already abolished regional housing allocations and plans to bring in a system for 'bottom up' planning for new housing. When the new local plan system is established, it will be important for local authorities to get a plan agreed quickly as after a cut off date, anything goes: if there's no local plan in place, planning permission for development will be approved automatically.
On 24 Jul 2010 at 11:41am kevsy wrote:
all feeling a bit circular this debate, personally I think the country doesnt deserve a Tory govt using the Lib Dems to push their agenda through. With 13 years in opposition and a worldwide recession they really should have been able to achieve a majority, the fact they didn't is because they failed to convince the electorate, yet still we get their polcies forced down our throats. It is left to a bunch of politicians to decide what policies they are going to hoist upon and which ones they are not. We were never given a chance to vote as the Lib Dems edged their bets throughout - if you had said that you would form a coalition with the Tories as part of your election campaign then you would have a better mandate to do what you are doing - you didn't as you knew that people would vote for it.
You should have forced another election then we would see what the electorate really thinks of someone with such a thin veil of creditability that is smashed with gaffes like the one we have seen in the States this week. If the strongest govt we can muster has Nick Clegg standing as leader claiming the Iraq war is illegal and then having to backtrack saying that was his view and not that of the coalition - while at the same time Cameron is claiming we piggybacked on America going into world war 2 - we are all doomed.
PS congrats on your win and all the best of luck - nothing against you personally just the party you are currently attaching yourself to.
On 24 Jul 2010 at 1:09pm Clifford wrote:
I agree with much of what you say Kevsy - but Clegg did say that in the event of a hung parliament the Lib Dems felt obliged to have discussions first with the party that appeared to have most support. The fact that he is an Orange booker (i.e. a Tory in Lib Dem disguise) meant he was happy that party was the Tories. But I imagine most non Lib Dems who voted for them assumed they would be happier working with Labour than the Tories. I feel sorry for Norman Baker - throwing away all those years of good work (not to mention his seat the the next election) just to be a junior minister.
On 24 Jul 2010 at 1:50pm kevsy wrote:
fair point - I was trying to recall which weasily words Clegg was spouting around election time. You are right - thats what he said. Not sure 'sorry' is quite the word I'd use for Norman, whilst he appears to be one of the good guys - some Lib Dems have come out and said they do not like what is going on - admittedly they are the ones with no career left (mainly ex leaders). Norman could have voiced his concerns - kept his seat and continued to do the minimum needed not to be expelled. Instead - he has gone silent.
On 24 Jul 2010 at 7:10pm Independent thinker wrote:
Kevsy, throughout the campaign I kept trying to point out that it was only the Tories who were saying vote Baker get Brown. The Lib Dems were consistent about speaking first to whoever had the clearest mandate. I wish Labour had that mandate, but not enough voters around the country who had the option of electing a Labour candidate agreed with me. I also don't believe you should keep calling elections till you get the vote you want. That would be grossly irresponsible in the current economic climate. Decisions need to be made, and living in a democracy we have to put up with the result. A coalition by definition involves compromise to work. Both the Tories and Lib Dems have had to swallow policies they don't support. I believe having Lib Dems in the coalition mean the Tories have been blocked from the even more extreme actions they wanted to take, but only time will tell if I'm right and I'm sure we'll all have a healthy debate on here at the next election about that.
On 25 Jul 2010 at 8:36am kevsy wrote:
IT - lots of good points very well put. You describe a pragmatic outcome to a tricky position. I guess I still look at the fact the the Lib Dem share of the polls has dropped to a very low ebb suggesting that many people wjho did vote LD are upset with how things have turned out. Now maybe that doesn't reaaly matter because the country now has the best of a bad set of options. I don't share that view, I see what is being pushed on us is a Tory ideology - but accountability is blurred, I do not think the concessions won by the Lib Dems are significant and saying that the policies being delivered are closer to the Lib Dem manefesto than the Tories smacks of rose tinted spectacles.
I agree, that to keep going back to the country to get a result is wrong - but in reality I think it will happen anyway especially when the Lib Dems fail to get anywhere with electorial reform - the ones that were attracted to the idea will soon lose interest. I would have preferred this to happen sooner rather than later - so we could have a real accountable govt as soon as possible.