Simon Reevell's Notes From Westminster

EVERYONE understands the idea of shopping around. 

If the shop you usually go to starts to take you for granted, or the quality drops off, you might give a different shop a try.

Why wouldn’t you? After all you may find that the new place offers a better deal or just takes that extra little bit of time to make sure everything is done right.

And if you don’t at least try the new place, it’s the old lot who are taking you for granted and laughing because they still get your custom.

If that makes sense, ask yourself why a sensible approach to local elections should really be any different.

In almost every other walk of life we ‘shop around’ and yet when it comes to politics sometimes all that is important is the colour of the rosette.

Of course old loyalties die hard, I should know, I’m a Leeds United fan and I still follow them despite the fact that as things have gone this season I’d half-expect to get a game.

But one of the many differences between football and politics is that it is local politicians that are spending our money and making decisions that directly affect how we live.

Many of the local councillors who run Kirklees lack any real experience of making decisions with potentially significant consequences or large commercial costs.

Perhaps that’s why the local development plan was such a disaster, with over £600,000 wasted or why the roads are in such a state.

The response is that it’s always someone else’s fault.

That sort of excuse just doesn’t wash in the real world. It doesn’t wash in more successful councils.

And yet the ‘same old, same old’ are queuing up for another lap on the merry-go-round of council allowances.

Why not forget about the rosette and shop around for once?

If you have a good sitting councillor that deserves your support, then give it.

But if someone else wins on every count when it comes to ability and determination, if someone else would be more likely to fix your problem however complicated it is and if, by electing someone else, you can make the other local councillors raise their game, what are you waiting for? Take your custom elsewhere.

Best wishes,


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