George makes me feel proud
WHEN I lived in Farnham, Surrey in the 1980s, a new Town Council was formed. The local political parties decided not to field candidates, so that everyone stood for office under an Independent label. The idea was to try to keep petty party politics out of local affairs.
I was elected and found it worked very well. Everyone seemed to get on well and have the interest of the town at heart.
Unfortunately, when the next elections came around, one political party decided to field party candidates and that was the end of the independent council. I am not sure if this was because of political pressure from above but I suspect so.
During my period of office I tried to get the council to co-opt two members of the local sixth form college to represent the views of the younger generation. I argued, among other things, that they were the future of the town and, as such, had a right to a say in that future. They would have no voting rights (being unelected by the townspeople). My fellow councillors rejected my proposal.
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I voted for George Ferguson as Mayor exactly because he was an Independent and, I believed, would not allow petty party loyalties get in he way of doing the best for the people of Bristol. I have not been disappointed so far, in what he has both said and done.
The 'icing on the cake' for me was to read about the two new youth mayors (Post, Feb 11) and the pledge by George Ferguson to work closely with them.
My pride in my home city increases by the day.