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Gale's View - 24/04/2019

April 24th 2019


Having voted, on every available occasion, for a Withdrawal Agreement that would, had it been passed, have taken a significant step out of the European Union by March 29th I not only understand but share the frustration felt by the majority of constituents in North Thanet that voted to leave the EU.

That the overwhelming majority of the Labour Party, the Liberal and Green Parties, the Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish Nationalist MPs, together with the Independent (‘Change UK’) group and some Conservatives who prefer to allow the best to be the enemy of the good chose to delay our departure is regrettable. It will, though, be perverse if frustration with a Government and a Prime Minister that still strive to deliver Brexit leads, next Thursday, to a backlash in the Local Government elections.

Council elections are too frequently regarded as a ‘don’t matter’ exercise and, therefore, a; opportunity to give the Government of the day, of whatever political persuasion, a ‘good kicking’. But local elections are not the Westminster Village and they do matter a very great deal. Arguably, local government finances and services have a more direct impact upon our daily lives than the relentless grind of legislation carried out remotely in the Palace of Westminster.

We have been blessed, in Thanet, with Conservative administration that having taken over a year ago has made inroads into clearing up the legacy of UKIP, has generated in short order and under duress a Local Plan that is not perfect but is at least now the subject of examination, and that is the major political force committed to the re- opening of Manston airport.

In Herne Bay Simon Cook’s administration of the Canterbury City District continues, supported by hardworking local councillors, to deliver improvements to the environment and value for money while striving to balance the twin requirements for homes for local people with all of the supporting infrastructure needed to support those newly housed families.

Now is, emphatically, not the moment to embark upon a reckless disruption of local administration. If it ain’t broke, and it isn’t, then don’t try and fix it. Abstaining is not enough. However tiresome it may be and however fed up we may be with ‘you’re all the same’ politicians (I, of course, would argue that we are not all the same) we have a duty to get out and throw our weight, through the ballot box, behind those men and women who are offering themselves in the service of their communities and who want to get things done to improve our towns and villages. They deserve our continued support.

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