Passports to Pimlico not the answer

Councillor Rod Kennedy is NOT entirely right (The Crow, October 29) in saying that councillors should stand down after serving 12 years. Such a demand seems too arbitrary and may well see a loss of councillors who are valued elected members to such bodies

Councillor Rod Kennedy is NOT entirely right (The Crow, October 29) in saying that councillors should stand down after serving 12 years.

Such a demand seems too arbitrary and may well see a loss of councillors who are valued elected members to such bodies as North Herts District Council and Royston Town Council.

Indeed, the "banning" of councillors who have served 12 years would surely mean a loss of experience and knowledge which is vital to local problem-solving.

In one respect, however, Cllr Kennedy is correct when he says there is a need for new talent to serve on local authorities. It is a question, obviously, of creating the right balance.


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In the past, I served 12 years as an elected councillor on Royston Town Council and six years on North Herts District Council - and have been asked whether I would stand in next year's local elections.

If I did so then it would be on the pledge (and the pledge I have given at previous elections when standing as a candidate) of people before party - our community before politics.

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Politics at the grass root level does not really have an important role when deciding on local issues.

It is more of a question of discussing the issues which are causing concern and attempting to discover a solution. It is a question, really, of common-sense rather than keeping to the party line.

The problem we have had in the past - and still have today - is that because of the nature of politics in Royston there has been created a virtual one-party state on the town council.

We really need bodies such as the town council to have elected members who will represent the widest possible interests of our community.

In such an election it should be a vote for the candidate rather than a political party. Party loyalty and serving the community as a councillor can be separated. I know, I've done it.

Perhaps next year we can see an end to the one-party state and elect candidates from all political parties who will be able to create a town council of the widest possible interests.

On the question Cllr Kennedy raised about claiming independence for Royston then, I am sorry to say, the machinery of democratic representation is simply against us. There may be a yearning to create a Passport to Pimlico-style existence, but in the end it will just not happen.

We can, however, still insist that we have a community that is independently-minded.

LES BAKER

Kneesworth Street

Royston

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