Thursday, 23 August 2012

Turning The Golden Triangle Red

New Methods In Reading East
My understanding is that the next round of municipal elections in Reading will be held on the same day as the European Parliament elections, probably on Thursday 5 June 2014.
If that is the case, those existing councillors up for election will benefit from an extra month in office.

Whenever the date is, we could see a set of elections where all three opposition party leaders are seeking re-election at the same time - and all in a golden triangle of adjoining wards in east Reading.

The juicy prospect - assuming none cut and run - of taking on Tim Harris (Tory)  in Church, Rob White (Green) in Park and Daisy Benson (LibDem) in Redlands is already an issue causing some of us to stiffen our sinews and summon up our bloods.

While others may slumber, we will use each of the next 93 weeks to over-turn these incumbents and bring the council seats back home to Labour. New campaigning techniques, some of which have already been piloted to good effect by Duncan Bruce and Richard Davies in Caversham, are being rolled out with more to come.

The work undertaken by Mike Orton in helping to hold Church ward together through their doldrums is now paying off with two energetic councillors in Paul Woodward and Eileen McGelligott establishing a firm platform to take the third seat from the Tories.

Rachael  Chrisp has already shown that Park ward isn't the Green stronghold they may wish to portray it as, winning enough Labour votes last May to have got her elected in many other wards. With time to build on that base and demonstrate the lack of influence the three Greens now have on the Council, should see more residents turn away from their odyssey of protest and elect a new Labour councillor in 2014.

What was clear for all to see at the elections last May was that the LibDems gave up on Redlands and no longer have the capacity to beat a far better organised Labour team. Whatever brave face they try to put on things, the LibDems will become increasingly disheartened as they are left to   plough the lonely furrow to inevitable defeat. That bright optimism of the Downing Street rose garden will be long gone and with no AV or Lords reform to point to for selling their political souls and nothing to redeem a shrinking, split organisation in Reading.

To Tim, Rob and Daisy I say make the most of the time you have left, enjoy the extra month and if your last campaigns are conducted with dignity, rather than desperation, you may salvage some honour and respect as you leave office.

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