City council election: My view from the campaign trail

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Having visited thousands of doorsteps and spoken to hundreds of residents in the last few weeks it’s time to take stock of what’s being said.

So what do people want? Well my take from the doorstep is they want very simple basic services to be delivered effectively. 

They want their bins emptied, streets cleaned, graffiti removed, pavements repaired, streetlights working, traffic managed and pollution tackled particularly to new housing developments where little or no thought seems to have been given to their effect on existing citizens.

Oh, and telephone calls and emails to the council answered, preferably by some action.

Actually very simple things. All of them within the power and remit of Canterbury City Council. 

All of them well known to anyone who’s had their ear to the ground.  So why haven’t they been tackled? Well the Conservatives promise in their leaflets to “tackle roads, graffiti, litter and road safety”. Spot on. But after 12 years in power why haven’t they done it?

Labour concentrates on housing and the economy. All very laudable. The trouble is that big ticket items like this are notoriously difficult to deliver. 

On housing their leader has admitted their claims could have been clearer and that you shouldn’t read too much into their leaflets. 

On the economy they promise Town and City Centre Commissions, community wealth building and local worker-owned co-operatives. Not anything I’ve been asked about on the doorstep.

So what of my party, the Lib Dems? Well, our manifesto is a mixture of vision on healthy communities, the environment, housing and traffic coupled with some very specific simple and deliverable things in policy areas such as tackling vandalism, waste management, roads and transport and housing.

The ongoing internal squabbling at Westminster and the inability of our national politicians to reach any clear decisions on anything at all doesn’t help any of us locally. Whatever happens on Brexit, your bin will still need to be emptied, graffiti cleaned and traffic jams managed. 

Local services really do affect you. Please remember that and please use your vote.

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