Cambridge Conservatives chairman and candidate Martin Keegan on the May 3 city council elections
Experience has taught us that the government which governs best, governs accountably.
The city council would work a lot a better with some Conservative voices on it again, and if it were much more welcoming of scrutiny from individual citizens and community organisations.
Cambridge, within the larger county, is under so many levels of government it’s difficult for the public even to understand who is responsible for what, and how to exert pressure when things go wrong. There is effectively a “vertical gerrymander” where different political parties get to dominate different governing bodies.
Many years ago now, the Conservatives in Cambridge city lost our position as the monopoly provider of organised opposition to Labour misrule, and many delight in the irony that the First Past The Post electoral system thus favours the Liberal Democrats at our expense. What has been lost is the representation of a distinct point of view, shared to some degree by most people in the country: a skepticism about grand schemes and a deep sense that one must be all the more careful when spending other people’s money. A vote for us next month is a vote to restore a voice for that point of view.
If we controlled the city council, the Conservatives would ensure future arrangements for bin collection afford a council tax refund when the bin collecting doesn’t happen. It’s all right if you live in a nice big house, and well done to you, but for the rest of us, it’s a complete pain.
Any discussion of Cambridge nowadays – even a pub bore droning on in the corner – will mention transport congestion problems. As someone who can’t drive and must cycle or ride with Uber or the bus, I’m particularly aware of the time it takes to get into town. If the powers-that-be, at whatever governing level, propose a congestion charging scheme for Cambridge, we shall oppose it outright if it is too intrusive and invades the privacy of drivers, particularly those under the age of 18. Citizens are giving up control of their data too easily and the fightback can begin right here.
Conservatives are realistic about how people behave whether they’re working for the government or for profit, and electing Conservatives to the city council will help us get these issues right for the future.
This year’s elections
Local elections take place on Thursday May 3 for 15 of the 42 seats on Cambridge City Council.
This represents one per ward, plus an additional councillor in East Chesterton following a resignation.
We asked the leaders of the parties contesting the elections why voters should consider them. Labour has eight candidates standing for re-election, while the Lib Dems have one.
Elections are also being held in South Cambridgeshire District Council and for parish councils in our area. There are no elections to the county council this year.