Monday, 26 January 2009

New Duston By election

So I have almost caught up on sleep and for those that don't know the result was Labour second place. Albeit with second to fourth being within twelve votes of one another. On the whole we did well with a well resourced campaign with frankly appallingly bitter weather.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

New Duston by election

So the by election did get a little more demanding (hence the absence of posting. In the rest of the world we now have an a new world leader in situ and ready to go with an audacity of hope. For me it's just getting through the next couple of days. It's normally really difficult to get press coverage during a by election but my candidate has done really well. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Just don't wait up for it.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Fishmarket - don't let it be another loss for Northampton

I remember really disliking the fishmarket as a child. I just couldn't work out why somewhere indoors was so cold. When it closed in 2006 it offered the opportunity to showcase cultural and artistic spirit. This offered opportunities for local artists to have their work exhibited alongside national figures. Certainly it has florished to an incredibly short space of time. All the more concerning now that it appears that the Borough Council want to snaffle back the building and throw out the cultural baby with the bath water.

The lack of strategy in relation to the Borough's relationship with the voluntary and community sector is astounding. I remember sitting in meetings with the previous Borough Chief Exec where she denounced the Borough for not having proper service level agreements with the organisations that they gave grants to. Strangely enough there actually were contracts in place then and there aren't now. In addition there seems to be very little understanding of what investment into the voluntary sector there is. So when the Borough Council consultation document on the budget suggests that support to the voluntary sector should be frozen, then maybe it is about the temperature in the Fish market and the relationship with the Northampton Arts Collective rather suggesting that support to the sector should remain at a standstill. Maybe the current administration liked it better when it was cold.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Delivery in New Duston

It maybe freezing, but delivering leaflets in the New Duston by election does really put a spring in your step. Needless to say I now have evidence on Tories doing it differently. The sight of lonely leafleters doing their own little seemingly unending patch is not something I really ever encourage. What's clear is the Tory presence seems to be from the bright young things from the North of the town (no doubt recruited in by agent David Mackintosh following his spat with Northampton North tories). He's done well in setting them to work even when they are on their own.

I've now had a better look at the Lib dem focus. Maybe it is the fact that being brought up a Bengali, I have a deep understanding of the concept of shame. Lib dem leaflets are what the more generous of us would term "apasancriti" (apologies about the spelling but it's getting it right in Bengali that counts). The correct translation is "anti-cultural" but generally bad guy talk and behaviour. The Lib dems openenly state that "Labour can't win here" when they have never came first or second (finishing seventh and eight behind the independent and SOS at the last Borough elections). They also have a go at no-show Tory councillors. A bit of a farce when they even quote Spencer ward councillors as having"excellent attendance". One of the Spencer councillors has the worst attendance rate in the Council.