Time to think long and hard over local coalitions
With sixty seven days left of campaigning for the local government elections, I wanted to comment on the increasing amount of coalitions that seem to exist at local level and provide some thoughts on the process.
Coalitions can be a very good tool to ensuring there is a level of sensibility and stability in a local Council. I would love an outright win for the Conservatives however being realistic in some local authorities the best we can hope for is forming a coalition.
Now in my books campaign time means holding people to account and providing a view on how the area should be and setting out a parties proposals to do this.
Some sitting Councillors maybe wary though when in a coalition not to upset the other half, this is nonsense. It is campaign time, if there have been failures highlight them (if it was down to the other half of course), we need to hold people to account. I see this across the country where some of our Conservative / SNP coalitions exist there is a touchy feely approach to campaigning. We should be treating them as the opposition. After all the electorate might want more Tories in so we need to show we can hold the main partner in a coalition to account!
Then there comes the problem of the day after the election result, no one party has a majority. The real prospect exists of Tories actually influencing local policy, but the big question is who with? In the last round of local elections it’s safe to say the majority of Tory coalitions were with the SNP. Members of our party see the SNP as the party easiest to work with, closely aligned policies, more centre than left. I on the other hand don’t see this; we couldn’t be more apart on the biggest issue facing our great nation…. Separation from our Welsh, Northern Irish, and English cousins. I love my family that is Great Britain and will work to ensure those nasty separatists don’t get their way!
It is with this in mind that I would propose, Conservative Councillors elected in May take a real hard look at what the parties are offering. If by some miracle Labour provide a good set of plans for the area, work with them (I’ll call 999 for those Tories in shock). We shouldn’t not work with a party because we are opposites in political ideology. Having two differing views such as left wing and right wing might be good for an area.
Tory Councillors elected in May really do need to think long and hard about what’s best for their area, forget the national bust up between Tory and Labour, look at what’s best for the residents who elected you be that working with the Nats, Labour or even those nasty Lib Dems .
I know if I am successful in May, and no party wins overall majority I will be looking at the proposals from both Labour and the SNP and arguing my case to my group leader about which party I feel we should go into coalition with for the interests of the people who elected me.