The Conservative Party hasn't won an election in Montgomeryshire since 1979 - and that was a first and only victory in a century. I'm the first to concede that this is not a great record. No way we can change things overnight, but for the last few years we've been trying to steadily build up a reputation for commitment to public service and engagement with the people of Montgomeryshire that might eventually bring with it electoral reward. (Occasionally this focus on public service has caused me to lose sight of the need to win elections.) In my opinion, we have reached the point where electoral success is crucial to the morale of our local team. During the next three years, we have Council elections in three weeks time, a General Election in 2009 or 2010, and an Assembly Election in 2011. Somewhere amongst that lot we need a big win. Which brings me to the current Powys County Council elections. as they affect Montgomeryshire. The names of the candidates were published last night
Firstly, I want to congratulate those Councillors who are already elected because they are unopposed. In no particular order, they are,
Bobby Morgan----- Llanbrynmair
Eldrydd Jones ------Meifod
Wynne Jones -------Abermule
Michael Williams---- Machynlleth
Roche Davies-------- Llandinam
Graham Brown------ Llandrinio
Viola Evans----------Llanfair Caereinion
Barry Thomas -------Llanfihangel
All Independents and all unopposed.
And our very own Simon Baynes, elected to represent Llanwyddyn on Powys County Council - and the Montgomeryshire Conservatives.
You can call it a breakthrough, a turning point, a watershed, the start of a revolution in Montgomeryshire politics or a... Steady on Glyn. Its only one councillor, and he was elected unopposed. Well, what may be only one councillor to you is a glorious triumph to me. We're off to the Wagon and Horses for a bottle of champagne to celebrate tonight.
And now we start the battle to add a few more names to Simon's group of one. We have 8 other candidates standing, (plus another 14 in Brecon and Radnorshire). Over the next three weeks, I will be doing all I can to help them. I really do feel that its now or never for Montgomeryshire Conservatives, and its now or never for me. If I'm going to defeat Lembit Opik, a team of Councillors would be a huge help. I feel in my water that this is it. The time is now.