My Liberal Democrat opponent has finally decloaked and has been revealed as the editor of 'Focus,' one Iain Bowen. Try and act surprised. Traditionally, candidates had to hide their lights until the campaign proper kicked off, so were described as 'campaigners' or something similar. This was because it used to be the case that the moment you were described as a candidate was the moment when your campaign spending limits kicked in and there were a number of embarrassments when candidates ran out of money well in advance of the election. Now, far more sensibly, you are a candidate from the point when the candidates are all announced.
He reckons he'll be a worthy successor to Frank Coyne, the former LD incumbent. I know I shouldn't say this, but I quite liked Frank. He can't help it that he was in the wrong party. Frank was a decent man who did a good job for the ward and I wish him well in his retirement. I won't be making a habit out of praising Liberal Democrats, but in this case, I will. To coin a phrase, Mr Bowen, you're no Frank Coyne.
I've just received his latest leaflet, which includes an attempt to spin the cuts outlined in the District budget. It describes them as 'efficiency savings' and that the councillors have decided to 'take more time to look at this budget to ensure there are no cuts to front line services.'
As I pointed out below - these ARE cuts to front line services. I don't believe that there is 40% slack in the pest control budget, nor that a quarter of our school crossing patrols aren't required. £80,000 is also being slashed from the sports and leisure budget and more cut from community development.
To say these are just savings is just wrong. They are cuts. Pure and simple.
Of course, if he (or any other of the candidates) had bothered to turn up at the District Committee, he would have known that.