So the Conservatives have managed to persuade the Lib Dems to enter a coalition in Reading as well as nationally.
I could see the logic nationally. Of course I didn’t like it, any more than I liked the fact that the Conservatives got more seats than Labour – but that is democracy and it was logically and politically the more obvious thing for Clegg to do.
Locally however I just don’t think it makes sense.
Here Labour are the largest group, the Tories lost a seat and Reading’s Liberal Democrats have often, in my view, tried to position themselves as being to the left on the political spectrum – although any Lib Dems reading this can correct me if I’m wrong!
If this was about local issues it would have made just as much sense to go into this coalition 2 years ago when the combined group sizes would have been the same as they are now! It’s very noticeable at the new councillor’s training I’ve been attending: 3 new Labour councillors, a Lib dem and a Green. No new Conservatives!
Because of this I suspect this has more to do with national politics than with the good of Reading, but I’m willing to wait and see – after all the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. I’m not someone who wants to attack councillors from other parties just because they will wear a different flower to me to the Mayor making (or, I’m reliably informed full robes in the case of the conservatives). No one goes into politics because they want to be in opposition, they want to get things done.
However as this is the situation I find myself in as a new councillor I mean to do it well – standing up for residents in Whitley and in the borough as a whole.
And to return to the title of my post – next year’s council elections I’ll be everything I can to support our party’s efforts to win wards currently held by the Con-liberals and the Lib-servatives, or whatever they plan to call themselves now!
(Note: in case this is not clear, this is very much my own personal take on things!)