Saturday, October 09, 2004

I dread to think of the number of miles across the constituency I have done today. Last night Louise and I went out for dinner in Diss but (for reasons best left) we ended up at the Marsh Harrier on the A140! This morning was then an early start, co-ordinating a delivery network meeting. As part of our “timetable for action” we are delivering a copy of our timetable to ever house in the constituency – no mean task!

From the office two teams of canvassers went out – one off to the Unthank Road and the other (including me) to my old stomping ground in Town Close. I am amazed how many people still recognise me as a former Grove Avenue resident. I even stood for county council there in 2001 – and one gentleman reminded me a pledge I made then to tackle rat running! A couple of hours on the doorstep really cheered me up. I can remember canvassing it in 2001 and feeling quite depressed after it, but today it was really good. This area has been LibDem dominated for some years but by my calculations we are now second, running Labour really hard.

Straight from there back to Bowthorpe and then back into the City. A resident showed me around the new Riverside development and we spoke about some of the issues arising from people living so close to a nightspot centre. The flats really are marvellous – I love modern architecture and they’ve done an excellent job. Mainly occupied by young professionals I was surprised at what a good reception we got from them all. Two issues were most frequently raised – they were keen on Michael Howard’s pledge to lower tax when we can. Most people appreciate services come first but nearly all said they felt they paid too much tax for what we got back. Secondly was anti-social behaviour and particularly shouting, swearing and poor behaviour through the day as well as the night. Then, right on queue, as we watched out the window one young lad – egged on by two younger ladies – kicked a glass bottle that somebody had left in the street and the glass shattered across the road. Where, I was asked, were the police or security to pick up on this? What could I say?

Whilst at Riverside I was compelled to purchase lots of stuff for the new nursery! We then went on to a residential home in Lakenham where Louise and I had been invited to tea. The LibDems had apparently been around to declare their policy of an extra £25 a week on pensions. One rather astute lady said to me: “Madness, dear. They can promise what they like because they know they’ll never have to deliver.” Would that big hike not encourage them to vote LibDem, I asked: “Not a bit,” she replied, “it’s a bribe, and not even a bribe we’ll ever receive.”

Tomorrow approaches and I’m off to watch a film…

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