“Don’t let Bishopstoke become a Lib Dem dictatorship” opposition candidates are pleading with voters as Thursdays poll see’s all 14 seats on Bishopstoke parish council up for grabs.
In a show of strength the Lib Dems have fielded 14 candidates to contest all the seats – raising the possibility of a 100% Lib Dem council. Labour has five candidates, Ukip three and there is an independent but no Conservatives standing.
Both Ukip and Labour have distributed leaflets urging residents not to entrust all local decision making to the Lib Dems alone.
Labour candidate Mary Shephard said:
“Over the last four years the different voices representing the major political parties and the independents on the Parish Council have worked well together to do the best for our community and its residents.”
“Don’t let them turn the Parish Council into a dictatorship like they’ve done with the Borough Council”
Hugh McGuinness, a Ukip Parish Councillor who is up for re-election, has similarly asked voters to;
“Prevent a Lib Dem monopoly- Ukip wants local democracy. Lib Dems want political monopoly.”
Liberal Democrats are well represented on Eastleigh’s Parish and Town councils.
Hedge End has currently only one sitting non Lib Dem – the Independent Keith Day – after 12 of its seats went completely uncontested last year and were gifted to Lib Dems.
Hedge End Town Council is therefore dominated by Lib Dems (including three members of the same household.)who are also Borough councillors and decisions made at the Borough Council tend to be rubber stamped.
Another problem with councillors who hold more than one elected local government post – councillors dubbed as ‘dual hatters’ by local blogger Ray Turner – is that they sometimes find they are ‘double booked’ and unable to fully discharge their duties.
Ray wrote about this on Eastleigh News and is also petitioning for legislation to prevent people from holding a position on more than one level of local government here.
The Lib Dems contesting Bishopstoke includes five serving Borough Councillors two of whom are also County Councillors.
One Ukip activist told Eastleigh News ‘We are fighting the Battle of Bishopstoke.’
Photo © Peter Facey