Putting party before the person

May I start by congratulating Claire Dowling at her recent local election victory and wish her well in representing our lovely town at the county council.

I would also like to thank the 880 people who voted for me together with my band of loyal supporters for all their hard work.

I was naturally upset at losing, but I was very disappointed that only 10% of the electorate supported me when I had worked very hard for the town and its residents over the past 8 years.

I would be lying to say that it does not hurt and it will take me a while to get over this and restore my self confidence.

Of course, many people could argue that you should not get involved in local elections unless you are prepared to get defeated.

This is true but there are not many people stepping forward to stand for election which has been shown by the fact that many of the candidates were already councillors at district or borough councils.

I have always felt, particularly in local elections, that people come before politics but I may have to accept that this is no longer the case and that voters are more interested in political parties than a local person working for their community. I personally feel that is a great shame and the wellbeing of our communities could suffer as a result.

On a more positive note, I would like to thank the many people who gave me warm words of encouragement during the election and those that have expressed their disappointment in the result and thanked me for my endeavours and it is much appreciated.

To quote an overused saying –“ I will now spend more time with the family!”

Paul Sparks