Sunday, January 23, 2005

Have had quite a busy, but hard, weekend. Spent most of it laid up feeling ill – but that hasn’t stopped the world going around!

Friday night I went to a highly successful “Winter Warmer” event at St. Andrew’s Hall in Eaton. It was great to see so many new members turning up and the food was excellent. A tidy little sum raised the election campaign.

Saturday I made a rather high profile splash in the press with both the Evening News and EDP leading on my calls on Ian Couzens to quit over the CityCare fiasco. Needless to say, he has said he won’t go. Is that because he feels he hasn’t done anything wrong or that his party desperately want him to stay? I’ve identified the 5 big failures of this LibDem council – including CityCare, last January’s gridlock, car parks and the market – so Cllr Couzens has a selection of reasons to resign. It really does upset me, this whole thing about politicians clinging on to power no matter what. Resigning has gone out of fashion. But it strikes me that if we want to raise turnout and return politicians to some kind of public respect then our senior leaders need to become more accountable.

We’re keeping up the pressure this week – more details later. Also noticeable about this whole thing is the way that the Labour Party are having to back Couzens because they were the ones who negotiated the CityCare contract in the first place.

Saturday was also spent on the doorsteps. The morning we were in Eaton village where we got a good reception. Lots of talk there about Labour’s pensions crisis and the CityCare issue too. It is damaging the LibDem vote. But not nearly as much as in Sunningdale, where we met not one single person prepared to sday they were voting LibDem. We met a Green voter, a couple of socialists, but not one Liberal. Why? Because of their shamless development of the Civil Service Site and Cllr Lubbock’s indifference to their opinions. If the LibDems allow this to go through then Sunningdale itself will become a rat-run extraordinaire. That really cheered our Eaton Campaign Team up!

Sunday has been spent clearing up the house and working on strategy. Next week we are launching survey’s about one-way systems in the Golden Triangle and we are going to publish the results of the Crime Survey. Busy!

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