So, a brief reflection on progress so far. County wide, I seem to have flushed out both Labour and the Lib Dems into producing a manifesto. I have it on good authority that the Lib Dems were not going to produce one intending just to complain and protest about everything we are getting on with.
It is important that people see what party’s stand for not just what they oppose.
So what can I glean from the manifesto fest. Pretty much as expected in truth.
The Conservatives are focused on getting things done. We want less talk and more action. We want a businesslike approach to running the county. We put protecting the vulnerable and promoting the economy at the top of our priority list.
The Lib Dems want to cover everywhere with subsidised wind farms and photovoltaic cells. They want to sell Shire Hall sometime in the future, with the consequences of having to build a shiney new HQ as we don’t have any other buildings capable of holding everyone and the council chamber.
They want to spend lots of additional revenue budget on pet projects with no thought to the future or the savings required next year and the year after. Selling capital assets to fund revenue projects is bad economics as Gordon Brown found when he sold our gold reserves at an all time low price.
Lib Dms want to stop investing in jobs and affordable housing in our new town of Northstowe. They oppose the upgrade to the A14 although they are trying very hard not to actually say that because they know it will cost hem votes.
Labour want to be nice to everyone and spend money everywhere but have not explained how they would pay for anything. Nothing new I guess.
In my division I have had a lot of really supportive comments and not just from Conservatives. It seems our get on with attitude is very welcome amongst the electorate.
In terms of the candidates it is always helpful that in addition to Labour and the Lib Dems a Green is standing. Greens are always likely to split the left of center votes. A double bonus is that UKIP have not put up anyone against me, probably safe in the knowledge that I am a Eurosceptic.
I’m happy to trade with Europe but not be ruled by them.