Friday, 13 April 2012

And the runners are.......

It seems like the longest election campaign ever and still 20 days to go...we are now well into leaflet delivering, knocking on doors, handing out posters and the more up to date election techniques of phoning residents, tweeting and blogging.

I am standing in Rushmere Ward, Ipswich - the fourth election I have fought in my own ward- losing the first two before winning in 2008 by 13 votes!

Those four years have gone fast including a year sabbatical in Afghanistan where I was involved in a slightly different election.

Back to the election this year, it seems the Tories are again hoping to win the ward back but sorry to disappoint the Tory blogger Kevin Algar, we are not being complacent and have just spent the last week, delivering 4,000 leaflets and knocking on doors - but unlike the Tory party in Ipswich, we also campaign in every ward in the town- and the residents of Bixley and Castle Hill will also receive our 'Local Voice' paper.

The full list of runners for the election in Rushmere is:

Christopher Kantara, The Heath, Tattingstone, Ipswich, IP9 2LX The Conservative Party Candidate

Eric Robert 36 Leopold Road, Ipswich, IP4 4RP Green Party candidate

Alasdair Donald Mackenzie 58 Lonsdale Close, Ipswich, IP4 4HD The Labour Party Candidate

Robin Thomas 269 Cavendish Street, Ipswich, IP3 8BQ Liberal Democrats

At least this year we will not have the Tories basing their campaign on the fact that their candidate used to live in the Ward (moved at least 6 years ago) and our candidate lived in a different ward. But they still seem to think it is OK to attack other Labour candidates for not living in the ward they are standing in but keeping quiet about their own candidates. Not sure it is such a big deal to the residents, all they want is someone who will stand up for them, especially when times are tough, as they certainly are now.

The Lib Dems and the Greens are also standing,I used to moan about the Lib Dems standing as they do no work in the ward and have not produced a local election leaflet for at least six years but since the last General election, I have changed my view and think that Labour should stand in every seat in the country to give people a chance to vote for the party they support even if they can't win. This has become even more important since the Lib Dems have jumped in bed with the Tories. The good news is that in the East of England only Labour has a candidate in all 362 wards that are being contested.

The Greens are never going to stand in every ward and as their candidate is local I can understand why they wish to stand in Rushmere, disappointing after all the effort that I and my Labour colleagues put into saving Kiln Meadow and promoting the local Bus service that they wish to stand against Labour candidates.

But on the day it will be Chris Chambers who will be my main rival, I have met him briefly and it was great to see a young person with a passion for politics (even if it is the wrong sort!) he seemed intelligent, keen and most of all enthusiastic and will be a formidable opponent.

Like myself he has also got his own website and uses twitter to help get his message across - his blog is here.

It is disappointing that a number of the posts on his blog are inaccurate and though he did remove one post about the potential Youth Club on the Rushmere Estate he has still left posts on that are not factual about a phone mast and the pre-fabs.

Chris has also got involved in a number of campaigns including one to set up a 'Friends' group for Brunswick Road Park. I did email Chris and said that I would be interested in joining such a group (both as a local Cllr but also as a resident who lives next to the park and walks through it every day) but even after sending a second email have not received a reply- willing to believe that is down to him being busy on the campaign rather than being told not to reply to me.

It is obvious that Cllr Judy Terry is very involved in the campaign, can't remember her making the park such an issue when the Tory administration attempted to leave the parks open 24 hours a day and she also seems to forget that it was her party who introduced the 'long grass' policy in the park and the savings were included in their budget and are still included in the alternative budget they produced last month.

We want more young people like Chris involved in politics and he has informed me, win or lose in May he is here for the long term but it does seem to me that he is being used as part of a 13 month campaign for Judy Terry to retain her County Council seat and a 25 month campaign before she has to fight for her Borough seat - or if I do hold the seat in 20 days time - will she try and find a safer ward to fight? Not that there are many safe Tory wards left in Ipswich.

Promoted by John Cook c/o Ipswich labour Party, 33 Silent Street, Ipswich, IP1 1TF on behalf of Alasdair Ross and the Labour Party Candidates, . Hosted (printed) by (Google Inc) of 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 who are not responsible for any of the contents of these posts

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