8 June 2019
The local election results said a lot, not just about the candidates or the party members who gave up their time to leaflet and canvass but about the desire local people have for change.
The election results gave me a genuine feeling of optimism. It’s not that the Green Party swept to victory across the county because we didn’t, but the debate about priorities had a different tone. Many people acknowledge the need for change and are sending a clear message to their political leaders that change is needed.
Local people want to protect their green spaces; want to make sure their children breathe clean air and have places to play in safety. Many reject the over-consumption of food and the waste of food resulting in the first ‘social café’ opening in Stafford thanks to the efforts of community groups. The ‘recycle, reuse, reduce’ mantra is heard more often and now ‘repair’ is being added. This year’s ‘Repair Café’ held at the Littleworth Community Centre illustrates the potential for repairing goods rather than replacing them. The town also has any number of charity shops recycling possessions and raising money for a particular cause. We can live more sustainably but the goodwill and efforts of ordinary people can’t change the culture of banking, multi-national businesses out to make the maximum for the shareholders and hang the rest of us; only government can do that.
Stafford is full of generous, hardworking people who are making a difference. When I do the Park Run along the Isabel Trail on a Saturday morning the marshals, all voluntary, wave us off. Along the route we pass a group of Stafford Litter Heroes clutching bulging black bin bags full of litter keeping the trail free of rubbish for walkers, runners and wildlife. When I return my books to the local library volunteer librarians stamp my books in and out with a smile. The lady in the café in town is collecting dog food for ‘Greyhound Gap’; everywhere ordinary people are working hard to bring about change.
The election showed that courageous political leadership is lacking. Although not in power, I think the Green Party is ‘leading from the front’ as Captain Mainwaring used to say.
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