I’m delighted to have been selected in Lawn and Badbury Park. I’m one of five candidates -- and the only woman -- and there are three Parish Councillors to be elected.
I’m intrigued by one of my opponents -- Mr John Short. Once a Conservative, he stood for UKIP in the General Election, and now is back as a Tory candidate for the new Parish Council. So he’s a Kipper Flipper! I wonder if, like one of his former colleagues, he thinks I should be cleaning behind my cooker?
I’ve been involved in a lot of elections in my time as a Liberal Democrat -- including the time my husband ran for the Council in Scotland and the voting system was Single Transferable Vote, the ballot papers were read by machine, and the counting software failed and the machines started emitting smoke (!)
I don’t expect the South Central Swindon Parish Council elections will be quite that exciting. In fact I think we may see a low turnout, as it is the first time for this new body and many of the people I have been speaking to just don’t see the need for an extra tier of local government. Wait till it dawns on them that the creation of the new Parish Councils means paying an extra 11% local taxes. The highest in England! This is not a statistic to be proud of!
So why is she standing for the Parish Council, you may ask. Well, other than the usual Lib Dem masochism, the new parishes will control useful services. I want to reflect the views of the community, put people first and make sure the new council operates for our benefit -- not just as a cash cow for Swindon Borough Council.