Monday, September 27 2010
During this period of new politics in Westminster, with a coalition government and new ministers, we've become caught up by the grand vista of cooperation. However, the consequences of how this will transcend onto local level has never really been addressed. The Liberal Democrats, the vox populi of localism, are venturing into the unknown and are unsure how once targeted councils will be effected.
Kent is a perfect example. The battle in our county is between Tories and Liberals and in certain areas, like Canterbury, the council is a Liberal Democrats target. A question worth asking, is how the voters will take to the coalition government because the austerity measures will have an effect on us all. And there is no point of any councillor abandoning or denying their association to the Westminster parties. Local elections have always been viewed as a referendum on the government.
However, the Liberal Democrats, contrary to media reports, have been performing very well in recent council by-elections – gaining some huge swings from the Conservatives. By being in government, the exposer and power, might help them edge and gain control of a council like Canterbury. But if both parties become unpopular, who is the alternative Kent will turn to? Labour is non-existent in the south east. Whether an upsurge in Labour will occur or a emergence of Green and UKIP councillors, it is clear Kent could experience some instability for a brief period. Parts of the county are in desperate need for investment and “friendly” local government policy, but if we receive our very own coalition, then our towns and cities could suffer.