By-Election 2014

I’m heartened by the very many messages of support I received following the 2014 by-election. The majority of which said that they were surprised that I didn’t get in – and hoped that I would stand again in the May elections in 2015.

It was exciting for me to obtain only 37 votes less than the leaders. All of this as a one man band: I created, ran and managed the whole of my campaign myself. I now know every nook and cranny of South Molton as I delivered my leaflets (printed at home) to each household in the parish!

Thanks very much to all those who voted for me. The turnout, at 21%, was very good for a town council by-election – with 320 postal votes and 516 ballot box votes. (At the last by-election in South Molton, in August 2011, only 9% of the electorate voted.)

South Molton Town Council published an unofficial poll card which was circulated to householders as in insert in the Gazette.

In the interests of fairness my flyer can be seen here.

Jean Foster was the only one of the candidates openly aligned to a political party, and, more importantly, was supported by that party. I didn’t actually see her flyer, but I presume that the  Lib Dems local news letter was it, as it was billed as a “By-election special” and is largely about Jean.

Ronald Herniman’s flyer was very brief and to the point. It didn’t make any promises that he wouldn’t be able to keep. He certainly doesn’t have a party political agenda.

Tracey Lewis’s election flyers made interesting reading. They can be seen here, along with a more detailed critique.

Unfortunately, with minor exceptions, every single one of the issues that Tracey raises is not controlled or delivered by South Molton Town Council.

Whilst those issues are very important, and the Town Council could certainly lobby harder and more openly at both the District Council and County Council level, it can do very little indeed to directly address them.

The Truly Independent Councillor

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