How did the Parties do?

This a table of how the parties fared in the local elections.

Party Councillors Seats
Conservative 3,564 -1,330
Labour 2,021 -84
Liberal Democrat 1,351 +704
Green 265 +194
UKIP 31 -145
Others 1,178 +661

It seems pretty clear to me that the big losers were the Conservatives and UKIP. Labour not so much. On the other hand I am not a  psephologist, so what do I know.

The winners were the Lib Dems, Greens and Independents.

Possibly I’m interpreting the figures in a very biased way. But they don’t strike me as being as what one would expect if there were a pro-Brexit vote. After all, the two big winners – the Lib-Dems and the Greens – are anti Brexit. Of course, it’s impossible to determine the views of the many successful independents.

Having said that, national politics shouldn’t rear its ugly head at the local level , but it does.

The things that I heard most complaints about whilst campaigning (e.g. parking, inappropriate over-development, the state of the roads) can be laid squarely at the door of central government. Planning policies set by central government have largely determined parking spaces that new builds have to provide. Changes to parking restrictions (yellow lines for example) are, to a very large extent, determined by available funding. Of course, there is also no money to maintain roads.

According to the Local Government Association local councils would have lost almost 60% of their central government funding between 2010 and 2020.

The other big issue was (as ever) dog poo. Apparently it’s a big problem in South Molton. Has it always been a big issue? Are dogs starting to poo more ? Fewer owners picking up? Or, as I rather suspect, are there a few more owners who don’t give a damn!