My view of the local elections in Queen Edith’s 2017: Part 1

We’ve got two elections to vote in this May, and as usual I’ll be giving my own spin on them in this blog. This first part is an overview of what’s happening, with key dates, and in subsequent articles I’ll look independently at each of the two elections.

So what are we faced with? What the candidates and political parties are – understandably – not really making clear is that one of the elections could be close, while the other is pretty much a formality, and not worth worrying about.

The interesting election is the one for our Queen Edith’s County Councillor for the next four years. We only have one County Councillor, who will be the person speaking for us and being responsible for some of the most contentious local issues of all, namely parking and road transport. So this is important.

Boundary changes are likely to have levelled the playing field between political parties. With only about 3,000 people voting in Queen Edith’s, nobody is predicting the outcome confidently, and your vote really could make a difference.

The less interesting election is for the new post of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayor. Don’t get me wrong, the job is very important, but all independent commentators agree on who the winner will be. What’s more, over 200,000 people may well vote across the county, so your vote and mine isn’t even 1/50 as important as it is in the council election.

Both elections take place on Thursday 4th May.

If you’re registered to vote, you should have received your Poll Card in the last few weeks. If you haven’t, it may be worth checking if you’re registered, but it’s too late to add your name to the register. However, you do have until 5pm on Tuesday (18th April) to apply for a postal vote.

The Queen Edith’s Community Forum is hosting a free “Meet the Candidates” event for the County Councillor election, this Thursday (20th April) at St John’s church on Hills Road. The evening’s events will be hosted by yours truly, but don’t let that put you off! Come along and for once, get to see and hear the candidates before you choose who gets your vote. We’re expecting a big audience. More details here.

Note also that the County Councillor election is to be held using the new Queen Edith’s boundaries. Under these, parts of the division, including the Trumpington side of Hills Road, have been moved out of Queen Edith’s, so I apologise that this stuff won’t be of direct interest to you. However, we’ve also gained most of Cherry Hinton Road and other parts of the old Coleridge division. There’s a guide to the changes here.

In Part Two of this series I’ll look at the Mayoral election in more detail, and in Part Three, the County Council election, both from a Queen Edith’s angle. Blogger Phil Rodgers has already looked at both elections on a wider scale.

7 Replies to “My view of the local elections in Queen Edith’s 2017: Part 1”

  1. It all hinges on whether you vote by party colour, or by candidates’ experience, track record of hard effective work for the local community and a clear understanding of the issues to be fixed and an ability to do so. There are several colours, but only one candidate in each election with the latter.

  2. One of the difficulties I had when I went to one of the mayoral hustings was the attitude all four* had about their ability to ‘fix things’. We know they can’t. We know they are considerably hampered by the fact that we don’t and won’t have have fully devolved local government and of course by central government policy even if their name is Mr Palmer. To suggest any one mayor (or indeed any one councillor) is the panacea is naive in the extreme. They might be able to help, they might make little things better but the whole? Nope.

    *[the others were invited but couldn’t attend]

    1. The mayor will have more power in the future though. A *lot* more power. That’s a bit scary, given that the mayor is effectively not chosen by the residents of the county, but by a small group of local Conservative Party members. However, I console myself that any additional powers would at least not be with the County Council, as a plank of wood as mayor could probably make (and just as importantly, explain) decisions better than they’ve done in recent years.

  3. Like what, Chris? I was thinking in terms of drastic changes to housing and transport policy which some candidates seemed to be hinting (or more) at. What do you mean?

    1. I think the government is still very keen to pursue the concept of English regional devolution and with Cambridgeshire being the only non-metropolitan area going down this route for now, they’re going to ensure it works here, and that what develops here looks attractive to others. Eventually, for effective strategic land use planning, transport and economic development, the powers of the devolved authority will need to be very broad, and the devolved authority probably larger than a single county, as was originally envisaged here.

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