I have had the privilege of working with my Conservative colleagues at Fenland for eight years now and with my Town Council colleagues for twelve. Eight years ago at Fenland we were still struggling to get over the legacy that was inherited from Labour in 1999 - a legacy of atrocious public services and a Council that just was not responsive. As a Town Councillor for the four years before 2003 I was dealing with complaints about basic services in the Council - grass not being cut, litter not dealt with, cemeteries not maintained, bin collections that were erratic and poor. Those are the core services that a District council provides. In 2003 it was clear that Fenland was a poor Council. It is now an excellent Council, and the fact that the election campaign across the District has completely ignored those basic core services can only be for one reason, that is because in transforming the Council, Conservatives have delivered.
That doesn't mean things are perfect, I have dealt with a complaint about dog fouling this week and one about full litter bins along the Bower, but both were dealt with within a day. In the instance of the dog fouling, they didn't just deal with the mess irresponsible owners had left behind, but renewed signs in the area too. You already have a responsive Council that deals with core services, so why vote anything other than Conservative?
But, that does not stop our Council dealing with major strategic issues, just look at the Boat House in Wisbech, Fens Business Centre as examples, or the work that is going in to supporting the Whittlesey Market Town Transport Strategy. It is the combination of being able to deal with basic services and deliver on Fenland's strategic goals that makes it an excellent Council, indeed one that is recognised in the Municipal Journal Awards as the best District in the Country. Why change it?
In Whittlesey, the Labour campaign has said much but offered little vision, indeed they have come forward with the idea that we should ignore the bypass, and focus instead on a link road from the A605 to Station Road. Why not do both? That's what the Conservative Town Council is doing? I am already going to be elected because I have been unopposed for Fenland, but I will make this pledge - I will never give up on my personal commitment for a bypass for Whittlesey, the benefits to our Town and to the rest of Fenland are too great. I will also campaign for improvements to our Town Centre.
Prior to the general election last year the Labour Party tried to oppose the changes to the allotments in Whittlesey. It is interesting that it gets no mention in their local election literature - that is because the improvements have been a resounding success. Conservatives delivering for Whittlesey, Labour moaning. Same old story.
Much has been made of the independent campaign in Fenland. But, really what does it offer? There is no doubt independence offers dangers, I have already highlighted some of that here. But much of their campaign has been about exaggerating the level of debate amongst the Conservative group at Fenland. Well, let me tell you something, group debates are supposed to be robust - that is how you arrive at solutions, the sort of solutions that provide results that have delivered for Fenland over the last eight years - but do not pretend that robust discussion is the same as the divisions that the independents are portraying. Independence does not facilitate good collective debate and decision making, it is why it will not deliver for Fenland in anything like the way the Conservatives have over the last eight years.
I could talk about the Lib Dems here, but I really can't be bothered. My views about the behaviour of local Lib Dems have been well expressed before. You vote Lib Dem at your peril.
The evidence is clear, Conservatives are delivering for Fenland and Whittlesey. Why change a winning team?