Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Ashley Dilemma

I'm not usually that bothered about who gets elected in local elections. Whatever the outcome the same tired old officers run the council with elected members being little more than rubber stamps who get rewarded once a year by being given a few percent of the budget to squabble over and play pork barrel politics. Of course I'd like to see environmental issues being given more weight and so am inclined towards supporting Green candidates, although politically they are too far to the left for my tastes.

However in today's election I am genuinely hopeful that Jon Rogers (above right), the Lib-Dem candidate for Ashley ward, will win through. That is not because he is a Lib-Dem but because he is Jon Rogers. I'm not easily impressed by local politicians but I believe he has genuinely tried to act as a bridge between the concerns of local people and the machinations of local government, making good use of the medium that matters most these days - the Internet. That is surely what councillors are there for, yet few perform that role as energetically and effectively as Jon Rogers.

He is also concerned about environmental matters and takes a particular interest in transport related issues including of course impacts on walking and cycling. He has taken over leadership of the Cycling City project and those involved seem to think he is doing the right thing there in getting some revision of the unrealistic plans adopted by Labour. As noted elsewhere he played a prominent role in defeating the West of England Partnership's plans to turn the Railway Path into a bus route.

It so happens that Ashley is also the ward most likely to be won by the Greens, whose candidate is Daniella Radice (above). I've nothing to say against her but a victory for her would mean Jon Rogers losing, which in my view would be a very sad thing. Jon has proved himself to be an extremely effective councillor and Executive Member whereas Daniella is as yet an unknown quantity. I know that many others take a similar view. We'd like to see more Green councillors but not at the expense of the most effective 'environmentalist' on the council.

Were I an Ashley voter I think I would split my vote - Jon Rogers for local councillor and the Greens for Europe. If you are an Ashley voter please think twice before giving Jon the boot. It really would be a great loss to Bristol.


DonaQixota said...

It seems the Dippycrats are planning to:

"Raise the city's profile nationally and in Europe, and promote firms at the cutting edge of the digital revolution."

Should be some fun here ... capital of this ... capital of that ...

Docsavage said...

well, as has been said everywhere today, now it's time for them to step up. No more excuses.

(this 'digital revolution' nonsense is a bit of misleading. Yes there are plenty of companies out there who strive to genuinely utilise the latest in available technology and should get more support in line with the real benefits they can acheive. I just can't see how Bristol, independant of central government can do very much at all. Most funding is still ruled by the idiotic quangos and regional development teams who frankly couldn't find their arse with both hands.

Sadly my experience of some of the 'digital innovators' in Bristol is one of listening to fools and egos pulling the wool, and dressing up poor, useless ideas and lamebrained schemes in order to fulfill power trips and funding applications. We seem to be plagued in Bristol by those who love to get their mug shots in the local press and media and dress it up as being for the greater good.

Instead I'd urge them to get out and work with the genuine folk in Bristol who work selflessly for their communities and the city, and for those companies who get on with it quietly and effectively.

Chris Hutt said...

Docsavage, what you say about the council's 'digital' aspirations could be said with almost identical words about their aspirations in many other fields, including for example cycling (which I happen to know something about).

The council start off with worthy ambitions but promptly fall prey to all the snake oil salesman who lurk in every field. The genuinely competent who work quietly in the background don't get a look-in. So they end up throwing public money at expensive consultants and misguided, half-baked initiatives.

Can all that be avoided? Perhaps councils should just stick to doing the basics and leave all the aspirational stuff to others.

helen said...

so cos he talks to you on twitter you supported him over the green party. hah nice one.