As the Gazette publishes the full list of city council candidates, we urge readers to make their voices heard on May 7. If you are disillusioned with the protracted general election campaign, then the city council one is only really now beginning to heat up. It is utterly disingenuous to believe, as some do, that all politicians are the same or that it doesn’t matter who sits on the council. The candidates are not the same and their parties’ policies, outlooks and temperaments will differ. Yes, whoever’s hands rest on the levers of power will have to contend with ever greater reductions in the money at their disposal. But how they choose to operate and spend your money will vary. It is worth visiting the parties’ websites to explore their differences.
Furthermore, some commentators argue we are in a “postpolitical age” when the party political labels matter less. This ought to open up voters to choosing candidates on their personal qualities. If a councillor you know has done nothing or been a source of irritation, then why re-elect them based on the colour of the rosette pinned to their lapel? Similarly, a tireless local campaigner determined to make a difference could look like the ideal choice to sit in the council chamber. The city council election does matter: use your vote wisely.
Herne Bay Gazette, April 16th 2015