Wednesday, 12 April 2017

"A backward trend in local elections"

Thus begins Lawrence Bailey's column in the Evening Post yesterday. The former Swansea Labour leader bemoans the way in which national politics have come to dominate local campaigning. It seems to me that this is more of a problem in England. Certainly all of LibDems' election literature here has concentrated relentlessly on local issues, though Labour must feel handicapped by the retrenchment of the press in Wales. More people locally are influenced by the Daily Mail and the Sun than by more local media.

He goes on to twit Liberal Democrats for not fielding enough candidates to achieve a majority on Swansea City Council. It seems to me that he should be grateful to the media for once, in not giving due prominence to the remarkable resurgence in local government elections on the part of the Liberal Democrats. If more of our people had been aware of our success elsewhere they would surely have had the confidence to come forward in the expectation of winning.

Labour, too, have had their troubles. I have heard of difficulties of filling their slate of candidates in some Neath wards, while on the other side of the county borough de-selections have resulted in former Labour councillors standing as independents against the new appointees. As Mr Bailey says, "expectations are that it could get messy."

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