Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where did it all go wrong for the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats had a pounding on the Town Council losing this Council to the Conservatives. But where did it all go wrong?

Starting with the elections in 2007. 
The Liberal Democrats won 13 out of 18 seats. But not by much. In Eynesbury they took 5 of the 6 seats. In Priory Park ward their smallest majority was 65. In Eaton Socon the smallest majority was 35. So the Liberal Democrats got in by the skin of their teeth.

First Forward Plan.
A good Forward Plan with much in it. Carry this out and the Liberal Democrats would have a programme for change. Much of the plan was not costed. This meant whilst the Liberal Democrats had good ideas they hadn't planned the money to spend on these projects. This downfall was to haunt them for the next 3 years.

The 2008/09 Budget.
This was a bad budget. Those in charge at the time, Cllr Giles and Thorpe, underfunded the budget which meant a large deficit during the year. The Liberal Democrats baulked at the 24% increase needed and went for a lower amount of 9.2% increase instead.

Taking Grounds Maintenance in-house
This had been dealt with by contract. Taking this in-house means the Council becomes the employer. This had significant costs which weren't foreseen. These amounted to £95,000. This dug into the Council finances. It was the mishandling of this project which caused the Liberal Democrats untold pain.

The new cemetery, to be in Bedfordshire, was the main project for the year and it failed when the farmer upped the price after the Town Council obtained planning permission. This led to the downfall of Philip Devonald who should have gone when the problems over the finances arose.

The "Shambles".
The Liberal Democrats got themselves into a mess over the missing loan. But this was minor and a cover for something much deeper. When the Liberal Democrats got a majority they set about changing the constitution. They set up a Policy and Resources committee whose job was to oversee the finances of the Council. In charge was Liberal democrat Leader (Derek Giles) and Deputy Leader (Gordon Thorpe). What went wrong wasn't the "missing" loan. It is the fact that knowing something was wrong the Liberal Democrat leadership kept this from Council.

The problem was that no councillor resigned because of this "Shambles". They didn't see it as their problem. Indeed Cllr Thorpe was promoted to being Town Mayor!

The 2009/10 Budget.
This budget tore the heart out of the Forward Plan. It also took the decision not to replace the Town Clerk for 6 months. This was another very big mistake. By not getting the resources of a properly qualified Town Clerk the Liberal Democrats messed up the Town Council for years. This came back to bite them with:

Loss and regaining of Quality Town Status.
Not appointing a proper qualified Town Clerk means the Town Council couldn't re-apply for Quality Status which they lost in January 2010. This is where the Liberal Democrats went wrong. They pushed for the regaining of Quality Status over much else. This isn't what the Liberal Democrats should have done.

The Car Park Pantomime.
I still don't see the reason why there was any need for any real protest. And a protest march to boot. The failure of this didn't do the Liberal Democrats much good. The District Council is in financial crisis and needs the money. Why not focus on that rather than messing about over 20 pence an hour (free evenings and on Sundays). Instead of pointing at the inability of the St Neots Conservative Councillors to change things they masked these ineffective efforts by having an alternative pantomime.

The Town Mayor's regalia.
A small item in what went wrong, yet it was to resonate around the Town. The excuse that Civic Pride was needed and this was embodied in the Town Mayor really missed the point. Town Mayor - who cares? Civic Pride - again who actually cares.

So what else did the Liberal Democrats do wrong?
Being only in power by a few votes, the Liberal Democrats needed to make progress. Being in power is one thing. Keeping in power is another. The tendency is to "blame the national situation" rather than analyse what went wrong and what went right.

Where the Liberal Democrats went wrong in Government was not understanding the Town Councils finances. This led to a casino budget which led to a cuts budget which shredded their Forward Plan. The inability to control the previous Town Clerk is also evident in the Cemetery and the debacle over the finances. By not getting in a properly qualified Town Clerk led to the loss of Quality Status but also, in my view, held the Liberal Democrats back from getting the Town Council back on track.

Yet however you look at all that went wrong the main problem was communication. Newspapers, if delivered, can be read. The adverts in the News and Crier were good. But I don't get the News and Crier! The only way to get your message out to your electorate is to put out leaflets on, at least, a regular quarterly basis.

The age old reason for not getting your message out are too many to quote now. Yet many others are able to achieve this even in winter.

There are 4 District wards in St Neots. Eaton Socon and Eynesbury should be your targets. A leaflet every quarter with door knocking once a month should make life interesting for the Conservatives. Both Eynesbury and Eaton Socon are up for election in 2012. Time to get leafleting and knocking now!

If the Liberal Democrats want to win they need to out campaign the Conservatives. If they don't then their voices in St Neots will be drowned out.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Do the Conservatives have a Mandate for the Town Council

With the Conservatives taking the Town Council what are their promises for the next 4 years.
The question is whether they have a mandate to make these "we wills" in to actions. The simple answer is yes. The Conservatives put these "we wills" to the electorate and have received the popular vote to put them into power. The whole electorate was entitled to vote. Eynesbury has still to vote but the result is irrelevant as the Conservatives have already got a majority winning 13 of the 21 seats.

The question is how quickly the Conservatives are able to put their "we wills" into action.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What happened to Labour?

In a earlier blog I said Labour were over egging their chances before the election. Mike Sneath said:
How many seats did Labour achieve? Answer: District Council = Zero. Huntingdon Town Council = 2 (a gain of 1). In St Neots Labour did rather well in Eynesbury exceeding their General Election result. But that was about it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gordon Thorpe - should we feel sorry?

Gordon Thorpe cut a very fine figure at the Annual Town Meeting in his formal robes. He and his team raised £8500 for his nominated charities. He went to many different functions representing the Town. He even got the Town Council to spend money on regalia and his robes. Gordon had his picture in the paper opening something almost every week.

But should I and the rest of the residents feel sorry for Gordon. I don't.

Gordon was re-elected in 2007 to the District Council with a 12 vote majority.
Indeed at the Town Elections on the same day he received 719 votes.
Fast forward to 2011 and Gordon is up for election again. At his re-election he gets 464 votes whilst Julia gets 553.
Even at Town Council Gordon lags behind with 586votes against Julia's 674 votes.
So why did Gordon do so badly? Because he was too interested in being Town Mayor he totally forgot he was there for two reasons. Firstly he had to be elected. Secondly the Liberal Democrats had to have a majority.

According to one source Gordon only became interested in the Town Council elections roughly a week before the elections were held. Far too late to change things.

Gordon seemed far more interested in being Town Mayor and raising money for charity. Gordon must have thought his high profile in the papers were doing the job. But they weren't. Local politicians need to have a base on which to stand. The Liberal Democrats needed to make their base in Eaton Socon and they didn't.

It is obvious that Gordon didn't do the work needed to get re-elected. He was too involved in being Town Mayor instead of looking after Eaton Socon which he needed to win. Gordon's downfall was because he didn't put the work into his ward that was needed. Should we feel sorry? I don't feel any residents should feel sorry that Gordon wasn't re-elected. Gordon should have done the basics before enjoying the treats.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reflections on the Town Meeting.

The Annual Town Meeting was to total farce. Well beyond time that it was separate from the Annual Council Meeting. I was late and missed the first bit. Then we had a very emotional time of having the Town Mayor drone on about raising £8500 for charity but not being re-elected. His own fault. Yet he took ages. This seemed to be the Gordon Thorpe show rather than an Annual Town Meeting.

We had the Youth Team leader giving a short talk, same as at the Neighbourhood Meeting a few weeks previously. The Huntingdonshire Business Against Crime presentation was a bit of a disaster. For the life of me I couldn't see the point. This seemed to be presentation about retail crime but how many retailers were there in the audience.

Questions were of course cut short. Of the 13 questions I put in beforehand only two were answered. The rest I await from the new Chairman/Town Mayor to answer.

The question over the Town Plan from another member of the audience was totally fluffed by the Town Mayor who seemed to be in a different world to the rest of the audience. yet he had the Town Clerk sitting next to him. Gordon seems to take the role of being spokesman for the Town Council personally when he is only Chairman and should pass questions onto those who know.

What is the point of having an Annual Town Meeting when people are not allowed to ask the questions? Of course the Chairman's decision is final. But it is a waste of time and energy. Gordon Thorpe did a disservice to the Town by not allowing questions. Gordon once said to me that "You are the most hated man in St Neots". Does this colour what I feel. Well no. I revel in this accolade. I'm just having a go at exposing some of what goes on in this town.

I probably get the blame for his downfall. But if Gordon actually went out and properly campaigned he should have done much better. Instead it is easier to blame everyone else rather than for Gordon to look at what he didn't do.

In the end the way the Annual Town Meeting is constituted it is a waste of time for the people who turn up and the people who ask questions. The Annual Town Meeting is for the Town not the local politicians.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Derek Giles and his predictions

In a letter published in The Hunts Post, Derek Giles makes a statement and some predictions.

1.  "After years of striving to maintain a town council budget increase of below inflation," says Del. The only problem this just doesn't stack up.

The budget for 2007/08 was £695794. In 2008/09 the budget/precept increased to £759873. This was a 9.2% increase. Inflation was 2%. So this was inflation busting. For 2009/10 the budget was increased to £803576. This was a 5.75% increase. What Del says just doesn't stack up.

2. "this time next year we will all be hit by a record rise in our local community charge,"

The budget is in a good state. With more housing coming on in Love's Farm and elsewhere the likelihood is the Town Council will have a budget surplus. If the Conservatives do make cuts to the budget and keep cutting the waste, such as the extra spent on the ground maintenance, this will allow the Conservatives a bit of freedom in the Town Council budget.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Conservatives break their first "we will"!

In incoming Conservatives have broken their first "We Will". During the Town Council elections the electorate were told the following WE WILL:

The Town Council has signed a "Heads of Agreement" with Turnstone Estates to lease the green open space at Shady Walk to Turnstone. This breaks the first "WE WILL" even before the ink is dry on the election results.

The Conservatives have argued that the use of the word AND followed by provide additional leisure activities lets them off the hook. But when I order coffee AND doughnuts I don't expect the doughnuts to be in the coffee. I expect them separately.

The Conservatives said: WE WILL protect and enhance our green open spaces. They fall down at the first decision.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Will Labour standing In Eynesbury help the Liberal Democrats?

With Labour scoring the highest vote in Eynesbury they have taken the opportunity to put up one candidate for the 7 seats in Eynesbury. The big question is whether the Liberal Democrats will make much of this or will Labour supporters just vote once for their candidate. Judging by the way the Liberal Democrats falling apart from their defeat probably not. But each Labour voter has 6 other votes. The District result says the majority are against the Conservatives.
Paul Ursell got 1081 votes. The Liberal Democrat and Labour candidates got 1312 between them. It whether the Liberal Democrats are actually willing to campaign to win. If they sit on their hands the Conservatives will have a near clean sweep of the Council. Labour standing could help the Liberal Democrats. Opportunity awaits but knowing the Liberal Democrats "winning here" will just mean too much work.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

HDC cuts or titles for former Councillors? Answer: Titles

Instead of focussing on the cuts the Conservative run HDC is out to make one of their former number an Honorary Alderman. Great. That is all we need. Another title to add to the never ending list. Instead of doing this why not use the Honours system and get the person an MBE or an OBE?

Sometimes I have to wonder at the priorities HDC has.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My questions for the Annual Town Meeting 2011

The Annual Town Meeting is on 16th May 2011. These are the questions I propose to ask at this meeting.
  • Were any monies received by the Town Council from the abolished councils of Eynesbury Hardwicke Parish and St Neots Rural Parish? If any money was received how much from each?
  • The St Neots Swimming Pool Trust has a woeful record of filing accounts and annual returns with the charity commission. As all Town Councillors bar one are Trustees. Can you explain why both the accounts and annual returns for year ending 31st March 2009 were filed nearly a year late? And why the Annual return for 2010 was filed 29 days late?
  • With parliamentary seats being redistributed will the Town Council and the various political parties write to and lobby the Boundary Commission for the name St. Neots to be included in any eventual constituency name covering St Neots?
  • In the Forward Plan, the Town Council talks of having a Community Centre for Eynesbury on the new development site on the other side of the railway to Eynesbury. How can this satisfy the demand the Town Council perceives for a Community Centre actually in Eynesbury itself?
  • With cuts planned by HDC to grants for the voluntary sector, what is going to happen to the Citizens Advice Bureau in St Neots?
  • The New Homes Bonus has been introduced. This gives a bonus for each new house occupied a bonus will be paid for 6 years roughly equal to the Council Tax for the property. With 5000 homes planned for the East of St Neots this would equate to a minimum of £36 million split 80/20 between the District Council and the County Council. What are all the Councils and our representatives doing to ensure St Neots gets the lions share of the New Homes Bonus due?
  • Other Parish and Town Councils have published payments over £500 on their websites. When will St Neots Town Council?
  • What plans, if any, has the swimming pool trust for the provision of an outdoor swimming pool in St Neots? 
  • How many freedom of information requests were made in the last year and how many were successful?
  • How many exhumations have been made in the Town Council run cemeteries in the last year and in which cemeteries?
  • In the Conservative manifesto it says: “We will protect and enhance green open spaces”. How will this be achieved?
  • In the Forward Plan version 4 the following is stated: "We will listen to, respond and involve all residents, businesses and community organisations in an open consultative decision making manner". When formulating the Forward Plan version 4 did the Town Council consult will all residents over the provisions contained within the plan? If not why not?
  • In the Forward Plan version 3 page 19 there is set out a series of performance indicators. In version 4 there is not indication as to whether these performance indicators have been achieved. So what I would like to know is what performance indicators, as set out in version 3, were achieved and which were not?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Elections 2011: East Ward

Just when the Conservatives are just about to make St Neots a one party state, Carl Jones wins as an independent in East Ward of the Town Council. Just goes to show those who put a bit of work in can win seats. The result was:

St Neots East (one seat):
Carl Jones (Loves Farm Community Association) 181
Clare Aspinall (C) 84
Christopher Young (LD) 35

Elections 2011: Priory Park

Priory Park:

This was an emphatic Conservative win at District and at Town Council level. Even with a combined Liberal Democrat/Labour vote of past years would touch the Conservatives here. This makes Priory Park a Conservative safe seat.

The Town Council result:
The Town ward is fought under a smaller boundary. The District Priory Park Ward contains the Town Council Priory Park Wards and the East Ward. Therefore this must now be considered a safe Conservative ward at Town Council level. Ian Gardner was also elected to Grafham Parish Council.

Previous elections
The 2010 District elections results:
This was in combination with the 2010 General Election. Therefore a much higher turnout.

The 2007 District elections results:

The 2007 Town Council results:

Elections 2011: Eynesbury


With the postponed poll for the Eynesbury Ward for Town Council, the Conservatives did well.
Against the 2008 result all votes are up. The dramatic number is Labour which rose to just over their 2010 District Election results. Something going on here. Whilst Cllr Ursell is back in for another 4 years this result is less of a ringing endorsement for Cllr Ursell, more of the Labour supporters not supporting the Liberal Democrats.

Previous elections
The 2010 District results:
This election was held in combination with the 2010 General Election.

The 2008 District results:

The 2007 District results:

The 2007 Town Council results:

This is not strictly comparable as the District Eynesbury ward took in the Town ward of EHPC but the Town Council ward didn't. With the annexation the ward boundary has changed to both boundaries are the same for the elections in May.

Elections 2011: Eaton Socon

Eaton Socon:

This had an election and a by-election for the District Council. The results was:
The Conservatives did well but not as good as in 2008 when they scored 911votes. It was the loss of Labour supporters who previously voted Liberal Democrats which did it for Liberal Democrats at District. Gordon Thorpe did quite badly coming 99 votes behind fellow Liberal Democrat Julia Hayward. Just goes to show that being in the paper every week opening something just doesn't get you votes!

For the 2012 elections a Jennings v Hayward election battle would prove very interesting. This is for the Liberal Democrats to win. But if they do nothing in between elections the Liberal Democrats are unlikely to achieve a win.
Julia Hayward gained an extra 121 votes but this didn't help her win. Andrew Jennings scored 96 less votes than Roger Harrison. Roger Harrison did quite well but slightly less votes than at the District Elections.

Previous elections

At the 2008 elections the result was:

At the 2007 elections the result was:
The 2007 Town Council elections was:
In 2007 the Conservatives increased their vote from 659 to 673. An increase of 14 votes. The Liberal Democrats increased their vote from 671 to 791. An extra 120 votes. Thorpe increase his vote by 40.

Elections 2011 - Eaton Ford

Eaton Ford:

The Conservatives did extremely well in this ward at the District Elections and Town Council elections.
Even against the 2008 result the Conservatives did markedly better than before. Without a Labour candidate, the Liberal Democrats did better.
At the Town Elections some Liberal Democrats made some movement as against the District vote.

Previous elections

District Results 2008
District Results 2007
Town Council results 2007

In 2007 the Conservative vote fell from the 1102 that was achieved at District level to 992 (Jenny Bird). That is a loss of 110 votes. The Liberal Democrats increased their vote from 755 at District to 888 (Sandie Giles). An increase of 133.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

HDC Councillors for St Neots allowances for 2010/11

I've eventually gotten around to producing the Councillors allowances as they pertain to our representatives from St Neots.
The interesting one is Mandy Thomas who went through such a "horrendous" year that Mandy was still able to claim her allowances and so expenses.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Those Councillor Allowances

With the publication of HDC Councillor allowances I thought I would compare those who have served full terms. The pay year runs from April to March. The election year starts in May to April. So there is a month out. I have compared the basic allowances from 2009/10 and 2010/11. Of the six Councillors 2 are Liberal Democrats and 4 are Conservative.
Kendal Cooper didn't claim any other allowances. Her total was £4235.04.

The surprise is Cllr Ursell who didn't take a pay cut! In fact he got an increase of £103.30 whilst he fellow Conservatives had a pay freeze.

How did St Neots Town Council cover it own elections.

Having been bunged the Quality Town Status by CPALC I thought I would take a look at how the Town Council dealt the Town Council elections. One of the tests for being a Quality Town Council is to promote Local Democracy and Citizenship.
Every 4 years the Town Council holds an election where all Town Councillors are up for election. So what has the Town Council actually done to promote these elections? Well nothing. Unlike other Town and Parish Councils this election has really passed St Neots Town Council by.

  • No notices of election were published.
  • Nomination papers which should be available from the Town Council offices weren't publicised.
  • Even when one candidate died there was no notice of a countermanded poll on the Town Council website.
  • The website and the noticeboards dotted around the Town have been devoid of anything to do with the Town Council elections.

What standard were Steve Wilkinson and his Accreditation Committee at CPALC looking at when they bunged St Neots Town Council the Quality Status Award? Time and again the Town Council falls down on the job and having been bunged the award doesn't really care about maintaining the standards set. St Neots Town Council knows they will get the award anyway so why do the hard work for the next 3 years when it will get the Quality Status award anyway!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The election continues in Eynesbury

The elections to control the Town Council continues with the delayed poll in Eynesbury due on 9th June 2011. The Town Council election results have the Conservatives on 13 seats with Independent gaining the new seats in East Ward.

This leaves the 7 seats up for election in Eynesbury. With all the resources available to both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives isn't it time Eynesbury was treated with respect. Both have enough party workers to come round and knock on individual doors.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What should the Liberal Democrats do now?

This is a major question for the Liberal Democrats. Priory Park Ward and Eaton Ford ward are beyond them for the foreseeable future. There is one election left. That is Eynesbury. 7 seats remain to be won. Instead of worrying about the results, the Liberal Democrats need to throw themselves into this election with plenty of door knocking and plenty of leaflets. Don't worry about the glossy leaflets.

For the future the Liberal Democrats need to go back to regular leafleting at least once a quarter. Nothing glossy. Just a simple black and white A4 leaflet through every door in Eynesbury and Eaton Socon informing the residents of what they are doing or what they want to do. Basic campaigning really. What you do on Council is one thing. It is more important to get your message out to residents on a regular basis. Not just at election times.

Friday, May 6, 2011

District Council Elections results

The Conservatives win again. But they weren't at all likely going to lose. The Conservatives made 4 gains against the Liberal Democrats. UKIP kept their seat in Ramsey.

In St Neots, the Liberal Democrats lost 2 seats with the Conservatives gaining both. The District Election results are:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So that was the local elections! - except Eynesbury

With the close of polls I thought I would take a look back at the lacklustre campaign here in St Neots or should I say from my perspective in Eynesbury. I say lacklustre, because all I got was one leaflet each from two political parties plus a letter from each because I'm a postal voter. I wasn't even canvassed during these elections. Labour put up one candidate yet didn't even get a leaflet out.

This is the state of elections in St Neots. Yet when I go elsewhere in the country I'm stuck by the number of leaflets and posters about. This follows on from the General Election that never was. St Neots is a backwater which doesn't really do politics.

Whose fault is this state of affairs? The political parties are not inspiring the public to vote. On the otherhand the public isn't really supporting the political parties. It is a vicious circle where the political parties do less and therefore the public becomes less interested and therefore the political parties do less and so on and so on.
If the mighty Conservatives haven't got enough people to get round the ward what chance have we that other smaller parties will achieve this aim? Time for smaller single member wards.

On of the purposes of this blog is to gee up our local political parties into informing the public what is going on. In that I have failed. Indeed the political parties seem to be going backwards. Eynesbury has the Town elections pencilled in for 9th June 2011. Whoever wins, St Neots isn't served by this near silence from those who wish to govern us.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why vote Conservative on 5th May 2011

As a natural Conservative I have to ask that question. At Huntingdonshire District Council the Conservatives have a failing budget which won't last the course. For many years the Conservatives have propped up this budget why spending the limited reserves. HDC was therefore a low council tax/high spending authority. With the fast diminishing reserves running out the Conservatives are ramping up borrowing which will cut further into the budget meaning more cuts. Sound more like Labour than a Conservative run Council.

Whilst the Conservatives have boasted about the high quality services provided, this is about to end. The Council needs to move quickly to a low council tax/low spending authority. But they haven't. With £6.6 million of cuts pencilled in and a further £2 million of cuts still needing to be found.

Not all this is the Conservative fault. Back in 2004 the Conservatives plan was for a £10 a year rise for 4 years followed by a 104% rise at the end of this period. That was back in 2004. The Labour Government stopped this by capping HDC. This has meant the option to increase Council Tax to get out of this situation was stopped.

Instead of making the cuts necessary to balance the budget the Conservatives decided to carry on regardless. This has meant even deeper cuts. The inability to raise council tax by 134% because of capping didn't stop the Conservatives boasting about keeping Council Tax low even though this was the Council would be capped by the Labour Government.

The Coalition hasn't helped, but this was expected as whatever Government was returned would have to cut the amount paid to Councils in Government Grants.

In the end the HDC Conservatives deserve a bloody nose not for the cuts, but because they have been unable to do the job properly.

The Town Council Conservatives have much to have a go at the Liberal Democrats over their 4 year rule at St Neots Town Council. But they haven't. The Conservatives want a positive message but say really little on where they want to take St Neots.

I can find in neither campaign any good reason to vote Conservative and therefore I won't.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Conservatives will win the District. But by how much?

The District Elections are will be Conservative win. How big the win is depends on how the Liberal Democrats vote and whether UKIP can garner enough votes.

Unless the voters utterly reject the Conservatives all over Huntingdonshire, the Conservatives are the certain winners at these elections. This Council is elected in thirds. So 22 out of 52 seats are up for election (including 2 by-elections). The wards and who currently has the seat is listed below:

Brampton - Liberal Democrat marginal
Earith - Conservative safe
Ellington - Liberal Democrat marginal
Fenstanton - Liberal Democrat marginal
Gransden and The Offords - Conservative safe
The Hemingfords - Conservative safe
Huntingdon East - Conservative marginal
Huntingdon North - Liberal Democrat marginal
Huntingdon West - Conservative safe
Kimbolton and Staughton - Conservative safe
Little Paxton - Conservative safe
Ramsey - UKIP marginal
Somersham - Conservative safe
St Ives South - Conservative safe
St Neots Eaton Ford - Conservative safe
St Neots Eaton Socon - Liberal Democrat marginal
St Neots Eaton Socon (by-election) - Conservative marginal
St Neots Eynesbury - Conservative Marginal
St Neots Priory Park - Liberal Democrat marginal
Stilton - Conservative safe
Upwood and The Raveleys - Conservative safe
Yaxley and Farcet - Conservative safe

The current state of the parties are: Conservative 37 - Liberal Democrats 12 - UKIP  2 - Independent 1.  

If the Conservatives lost all 15 seats they would be the largest party with 22 seats. This won't happen. With 12 out of the 15 seats classified as safe and only 3 as marginal the outcome is certainly Conservative. As all the Liberal Democrats seats are classified as marginal they could lose all 6. UKIP should retain their seat in Ramsey though it would go Conservative if they don't.

The spread of seats for the parties are:

Conservatives spread 34 - 44 seats
Liberal Democrats spread 6 - 15 seats

St Neots and Huntingdon should be battlegrounds for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New question mark over the cemetery

I was a bit perplexed over the secret item over the Cemeteries coming up in a spat between Cllr Hayward and candidate Roger Harrison over town council secrecy. In her reply Cllr Hayward said the reason why the recent cemetery discussion was kept secret was:
What is (1)? This is one of the reasons why the Town Council can hold discussions in secret.

1) Information relating to any individual. 

So if this is information relating to an individual why wasn't this in the minutes?
The discussion was secret because this item related to an individual but all it was about was the closure of the cemeteries. This get curiouser and curiouser.