Saturday, April 05, 2008

Its now or never.

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,

Joy Shearer--------Rhiwcynon
Michael Jones------Churchstoke
Bobby Morgan----- Llanbrynmair
Eldrydd Jones ------Meifod
Wynne Jones -------Abermule
Gwilym Vaughan----Glantwymyn
Tegwyn Jones-------Llansantffraid
Michael Williams---- Machynlleth
David Jones---------Guilsfield
Kath Roberts-Jones--Kerry
Beryl Vaughan-------Banwy
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.


Oscar said...

Greetings from the Conwy Constituency!
Could not resist having a peek at what you been getting up!
Don't mention the wet tea shirt, OK I won't then.
I sense a swing from Labour, but Glyn, I also have heard a lot of comment's that at best can only be described as apathy towards councillors in general, and that i am first to admit does not bode well for us.
I believe in our area we have a lot of the old faces standing again, meaning a few labour may well get re elected, not least a former labour council leader , who may well be up for coincil leader again, bad news for us Glyn.
We are very much in a retirement area, so we get more than a few very old ones standing, which does nothing to dispell the apathy.
we even have a ward were 1 conservative will not put his name on the same election address as the other one!
Both serving councillors!
Happy Days!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn> and the good people of Montgomeryshire deserve to win you as their MP.

Anonymous said...

As part of your campaign, how about letting the people of Montgomeryshire know that Lembit Opik has been protesting against the building of a tower block in NORTH KENT....This from the man who couldn't be bothered to turn up to the vote on rural post office closures. I wouldn't worry too much Glyn, you have at least a year of PR disasters from LO to help you win the seat

secretarybird said...

I wonder how good it is for democracy to have so many councillors returned unopposed in Montgomershire

Glyn Davies said...

Oscar - I agree that apathy is the main problem. As it happens, all of the Coucillors returned unopposed are good and would be unlikely to have been defeated anyway. Problem for us is that many of them do not believe that they can win with a party label. We have to win some elections to prove them wrong. We have smoe great cndidates. That is what everyone involved with Montgomeryshire Conservatives will be striving to do over the next three/four weeks. Our strategy is to concentrate on our commitment to public service.

Christopher and anon - thanks. I do think taking £5000 from the Daily Sport was a particularly serious misjudgement.

Secretarybird - It is not good at all. If we hadn't put forward candidates there would have been more. If we can win a few seats, I would expect us to be contesting a lot more next time around.

Oscar said...

"Problem for us is that many of them do not believe that they can win with a party label."
Quite agree Glyn.
Chicken or the egg situation.

Glyn Davies said...

oscar - to break the cycle we have to win, which is why I believe this council election is so important to us in Montgomeryshire. And we have to promise no more than we can deliver, and if we are elected, we have to be as good as our word about commitment to 'value for money' and to public service. All of our candidates are signing up to a common bilingual leaflet. At the moment I'm optimistic.

Paul said...

I notice that after the conservatives poor showing in last years Welshpool by-election, you don't have a candidate this time, any reason - running scared or can't find a candidate?

Glyn Davies said...

Paul - I think that the Gungrog ward of Powys County Council has a very good candidate in Delwyn Williams, and personally, I'm pleased that we are not splitting the centre/right vote. If Delwyn had not been standing, we may well have contested the seat.

Bring back Montgomeryshire Witness said...

Glyn. I recently had a letter from PCC stating that the May elections are around the corner and highlighting the 'opportunities' to become a councillor.

As someone pre-40s but post 35, I considered this but realised that I couldn't afford to take the time off from my full time job - thus preventing me from becoming a stronger part of my community (that is if I even got past the elections).

So my rambling point is that while you're congratulating youself on retating these councillors, who do they really represent?

It certainly isn't my age group. While I am not ageist, we really could do with fresh blood in the Chamber at County Hall and not the usual chain gang who have made it their retirement home.

I'm not having a go at the politics here, but the process of being unapposed and taking up the £11,000 expenses to meet up with old friends from across Powys in a cosy County Hall doesn't necessarily help the younger generation who are prevented from seeking election because of the financial pressures of modern life.

Rambling over.

Glyn Davies said...

Bringback MW - I like your name. I too miss MW. Pity you hadn't talked to me before ruling yourself out. We have young businesspeople standing for us, who feel that they can become involved in public service because they are part of a wider team - which includes me, AMs, MPs and an MEP. Why not give me a ring and lets talk it through.

Gary Price. said...

I just wanted to pick up on the point of young Councillor at County Hall and point out that back at the last elections in 2004 I was elected at the age of 25. 4 years on and at this election im 29 and back un opposed. I would have rathered a contest however i cant make candidates stand? I work for Royal mail and time off from work is not as easy as it used to be. However it is about time that the dead wood was removed and replaced with fresh blood. The Llandrindod Wells South Ward is being contested by a 27 year old single mother ( Sarah Millington Conservative Candidate ) and I will be helping her all I can.

Glyn Davies said...

Gary - Congratulations on your election. Best of luck to Sarah. In Montgomeryshire, we've several candidates new to local government that I believe could make a real difference. I hope they'll be joining you in May.

Montgomeryshire Witness said...

I'm still here and it's nice to see I haven't been forgotten! I'll hopefully make a return to blogging if I get more time. I'm still watching though. I'll let you know when I'm back and where my blog is!

In the meantime you'll know that the issue of councillors and the ability of people to become such members of our community was close to my heart. It seems as though the same issues are still abound with the same bariers.


floating voter said...

Another Llandrindod South candidate, David Peter, has been round with a notice about scurrilous information apparently circulated by Harold Nichols, allegedly a supporter of Sarah Millington. What's that about? I live and vote in Llandod South but I don’t know what Harold has been saying.