Leader's Gazette Column - June 2012
One of the undoubted benefits of living in a democracy is the chance for us all to exercise our preference, on a regular basis, as to who we wish to entrust with the responsibility of Government, both national and local.
For all of us in Local Government one of the distinct disadvantages that we have is that where we are the same political colour as the Government we suffer if they are unpopular on the day of local elections. This gave a huge advantage to the Conservative Councillors in 2008 with an unpopular Labour Government and we saw the situation reversed in May with a slump in the fortunes of, what is generally seen as, a Conservative Government.
The London Borough Councils were not up for re-election this year but we did have the London Mayoral and GLA Elections to provide an indication of our political fortunes if we had been. A review of the votes cast in the Ealing/Hillingdon Constituency make very interesting reading.
Boris Johnson attained a majority of 17,141 in Hillingdon but lost in Ealing by 4,926 giving him an overall constituency majority of 12,215.
Richard Barnes the GLA candidate attained a majority of 11,273 in Hillingdon but a Labour majority of 14,383 in Ealing saw him lose his seat by 3,110 votes. A bitter blow for someone who has served with distinction on the GLA for 12 years, the last four as Deputy Mayor.
However on a day when Conservative Councils were falling across the country an analysis of the votes ward by ward showed that even using the GLA candidate votes Hillingdon Conservatives would have won 41 of the 65 seats in this borough. Why? How could the results in neighbouring boroughs be so different? Because in Hillingdon we do mean it when we say that we put residents first, even if that puts us in conflict with a Government of our own political colour. We represent the people of Hillingdon we do not represent a political party. Our people, Our Heritage, Our Environment, that is what Hillingdon Conservatives represent and will continue to represent.
Thanks to all those who turned out to vote for Boris and Richard. It was sad to lose Richard but the loss of Boris would have been a disaster for this borough.