Well, first things first. I need to say a massive thank you to the people of Ramsbottom. 1298 votes is nothing to be sniffed at, and made me feel very humble indeed. The support is very much appreciated and it gives me even more reason to believe that the number will be even higher next year with a little more work from myself and the Bury North team. Better than 3rd place next time? Watch this space!!
My congratulations also go to Ian Bevan, who I am sure will be working hard for the area for the next few years. I spoke to him briefly at the count and he seems like a decent and committed man. I’m sure that won’t stop us from locking horns in the future however on local issues!
Can I also say here how disappointed I was that the Lib Dems lost one of our hard working councillors in Sedgley Ward after a very close contest between all three parties. Andrew Garner has served his area tirelessly for many years and I hope that this may just be a blip in the electoral cycle and we will see him re-elected soon. I know that I speak on behalf of myself and the other members of the local party in saying that all his work for the party is very much appreciated.
Labour taking this seat and three others from the Tories however means that we are now back in a situation of Bury Council being back at no overall control status, so locally the Lib Dems will have a much greater say in things, just as we find ourselves nationally. Maybe we can stop that Tory bandwagon after all.
During the election campaign I had the pleasure of debating some of the key issues surrounding the environment and sustainability with other campaigners and councillors from the other parties. The event, held at the brand Fusiliers museum in Bury Town centre was very well organised and a big well done needs to be given to Tristan Humphreys from Oxfam and the Bury Times who chaired the event.
The debate itself was quite a constructive event generally with the varying points of view put forward by Councillor Derek Boden from Labour and Councillor Dorothy Gunther from the Tories. (There was also a very knowledgeable guy from Oxfam whose name I unfortunately missed). UKIP unfortunately failed to turn up – no explanation why unfortuantely!
This was my first experience of publically ‘getting my hands dirty’ with other local councillors and I think that everything went ok. I can’t deny I was a little nervous, but I think I more than held my own. The fact that Mrs Gunther felt the need to bring out a few personal attacks during the debate about me not living in the area nearly as long as she had obviously means that I touched a few raw nerves during my time on the debating floor.
All’s fair in love and war I suppose.
The full live blog can be read on Twitter if you’re really interested! Check out http://twitter.com/oxfamnorthwest for April 28th 2010 and you’ll get the full lowdown!
On we go…
And so the political bandwagon rolls on. As senior Lib Dems and Tories to figure out who will be running the country, the same will be true in Bury for our local councillors and campaigners. Whether it be bins and street repairs locally or the electoral system and nuclear deterrents at Westminster, I’m pleased that the Lib Dems are right at the centre of things. We’ll do our best to make sure that the best job possible gets done!