After 40 years involvement in politics at all levels, I suppose I have seen and heard it all before. “Let’s keep it clean and avoid negative comments and smears”, the parties say to each other! Sounds fine, but in the real world politics is dirty and at times in the gutter. Been there, when I was younger trying to make a point and one-up-man-ship… didn’t work!

Since joining UKIP and the start of this election I have seen more smears, mud-slinging, underhand tactics, back biting, sniping and out and out lies against UKIP leader Nigel Farage and UKIP as a whole than all the others put together! We are getting use to it. But that’s not my gripe. My concern is the language and negative campaigning from the Tory Defence Minister, Michael Fallon against Labour leader Ed Miliband, not because I feel sorry for Mr Miliband, it’s because at the last General Election in 2010 some 19 million eligible voters didn’t bother to vote!!

That’s our problem. Nearly 10 men and over 9 million women failed to vote. That’s bad for democracy. That’s why we need to avoid personalities and stick to party policies. I have spent a very long time in politics. I just hope the election will be more invigorating and interesting or it’s going to be a damp squib with even more absentees at the ballot box.

That brings me to the local scene here in Wincanton. Seven candidates standing for two seats on South Somerset District Council, both currently held by the Conservatives. Seems the campaign has got off to a slow start. Very few leaflets from any party to date and hardly any window bills. Next week, 15th April, is the first and I assume only hustings for the Candidates for the District Council to be held at the Bear Public House. I intend to be there and look forward to voters’ questions. My past experience suggest that at grass roots level people are more civilized towards each other and normally get straight answers, something those at Westminster could learn from.

The District elections look to be especially interesting as the outgoing deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the Council has chosen to switch from Yeovil West ward and fight Wincanton.

With 31 Councillors for the Liberal Democrats, 25 for the Tories and 4 independents, it needs the Conservatives to make just one net gain to bring the Council down to N.O.C (no overall control). A gain of 6 seats will give them control of the Council.

Naturally we in UKIP will hope to spoil the party. We think the voters in Wincanton and the whole District have had a poor deal. Voters are tired of the revolving door between left and right wing views. It’s time for a change, new blood, a new approach.
As a shop owner in Wincanton’s High Street I’ve seen businesses come and go, but the town lacks the support and the investment that can come from the right approach.

Wincanton has for too long been a back-water and monies find their way to Yeovil. It’s wrong, we need a strong voice to argue Wincanton’s case not just the same old two-party power game that we get year after year.

Whatever the outcome after the Election, we in UKIP if elected do not hold a party whip. Which means each member is free to decide the best for the Town without pressure from above. Free parking, homes for locals first, improve the quality of the town, better signs, do our best to fill empty shops and keep Council Tax to minimum levels. Wincanton first is the way ahead.

Mark Vallance

Wincanton Window article

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