28 September 2009


After all the rumours and counter-rumours, my voting card fell through the letterbox on Saturday morning and I knew that rumour was now reality. In the same way that one swallow doesn't make a spring, an election for Somerton Town Council doesn't indicate that anything much has changed. However, its fair to say that this election, the first 'real' election for 6 and a half years, does give Somerton's community the chance to have a say, and that, in itself, is a unique experience.

You could interpret this election as a consultation with the community and its the first time in recent memory that this Town Council have bothered to consult the community, so don't waste this opportunity. Find out about the candidates. Who are they and what is their experience? Have they undertaken any training? Do they know how a Town Council should be run? What are the issues that they see facing Somerton? How do they see the Town Council enabling the community's response to those issues. Find out if the candidates see the Council as serving the community or the other way around (which is the view of the current bunch). Find out what their position is on 'transparency' and 'accountability'. Will they represent the wider community or are they aiming to be a cypher for Somerton's development establishment?

M&B isn't in the game of pointing at one candidate or another but M&B recognises that this is the first opportunity in a long long time for the community to express its will and have it enacted. It's an opportunity that Somerton, as a community, needs to grab with both hands and in so doing, send a signal to the current Council that the community does have a voice and a will and both have been ignored for too long.

Till next time may your Returning Officer validate your vote.


PS Find the 'Vote' symbol here: http://www.ehow.com/how_4791508_throw-glamorous-oscar-party.html and its author's rights are recognised.