We are invited to visit the polling booths again in a week’s time, with Borough Council elections taking place on Thursday 2nd May for the two local authorities in my constituency; Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.
I have every sympathy with disaffected voters still awaiting a resolution to the way in which we leave the EU; I’ve voted in Parliament dozens of times in recent weeks to try and get the job done, only to be wholly frustrated by those who seek to block progress for political or ideological gain, seemingly blind to the urgent and pragmatic need for certainty. I also share a deep distaste at the looming prospect of further European elections next month and remain steadfast in trying to avoid these, if at all possible.
But these issues should not be allowed to blur the importance and purpose of next week’s poll. Our Borough Council elections are about who you choose to make decisions on local issues; those that have a direct effect on the individuals, families and businesses in Maidstone & The Weald. Housing and planning, improvement in air quality and related traffic controls, town centre management, litter and fly tipping – the list is extensive. Those we elect also decide on how much is spent on our services and how much council tax we pay.
The Borough Councillors you choose will also need to work with Parish Councillors, Kent County Council and myself as the Member of Parliament if we are to gain a joined-up approach to local affairs and avoid allowing politics to get in the way of local prosperity.
I urge you, therefore, to turn out to vote next week. Your choice of who runs our local services is important. Please don’t waste that opportunity.