This blog is a political blog from a left-of-centre perspective. This is not specifically a party political blog, but does have a Lib Dem orientation. Constructive enagement with radical liberals, social democrats / democratic socialists and greens is particularly welcomed.

Monday, December 11, 2006

£500 the Price to be a Tory Councillor !

Letter to Herald Express published 29/11/06 :

Far more revealing than your front page story regarding the usage of Lib Dem councillor allowances is the revelation from Kevin Caroll, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council and leader of the Conservative group, that their candidates are expected to pay £250 towards an election campaign and, upon election, pay a similar sum to the party. Surely this undermines David Cameron’s efforts at remaking the Conservatives as a more liberal and ‘inclusive’ party and one attempting to be more reflective of modern
Britain. ? Surely the Tories need to reach out beyond the professional and business classes that are heavily over-represented on councils all over the country. Is £500 the price of being a Tory councillor?

Conversely, I am delighted to say that I was both approved as a candidate and selected by the Ellacombe ward party as Lib Dem candidate for the 2007 local elections on the basis of my ideas, experience and commitment to both the party and the bay. My income was never a factor. As someone on an income very much closer to the minimum wage level than the national average and with a ‘lifestyle’ to match, I believe that I reflect the experience of many Ellacombe and Torbay households and that such voices need to be heard at Council level.

Contrary to Marcus Wood’s claims that the Tories are genuinely changing it seems its prospective candidates for public office are still drawn from, and represent, a narrow strata of Torbay’s populace. It looks like ‘same old Tories’ to me, representing the interests of a few rather than the many!

Barrie Wood
Ellacombe Liberal Democrats


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